Anti-government protesters, Libyan security forces clash

McClatchy NewspapersFebruary 21, 2011 

CAIRO, Egypt — Clashes between protesters and security forces erupted again Monday, a continuation of Libyan President leader Gadhafi's brutal crackdown on demonstrations demanding the end of his 42-year rule, according to human rights groups and witnesses.

More than 300 people have died in the past five days, according to the most recent figures compiled by Human Rights Watch, the international advocacy group.

Protesters have set their sights on the capital, Tripoli, after celebrations overnight in the next-largest city, Benghazi, which is now described by witnesses as out of the government's control.

By midday Monday, protesters were swarming into Tripoli's Green Square, where they hoped to draw thousands to the streets in defiance of ominous warnings from the government. Gadhafi's son, Seif-al-Islam, said in a televised speech overnight that his father's regime was prepared to fight "until the last bullet."

"This criminal wouldn't hold back from killing people," said Abdullah, 42, a Tripoli resident in Green Square who was reached by phone Monday. He requested anonymity for fear of government retaliation.

"The common feeling is that (Gadhafi) won't leave except by death," Abdullah added.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service