News / Middle East

Libyan Death Toll Mounts as Protests Continue in Region

Libyan protesters shout slogans against Libyan leader Gadhafi in front of the Libyan embassy in Kuala Lumpur on February 23, 2011.
Libyan protesters shout slogans against Libyan leader Gadhafi in front of the Libyan embassy in Kuala Lumpur on February 23, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio

Reports coming out of Libya indicate government-sanctioned violence against protesters is intensifying during a widening revolt.  The international community has denounced the violence, while Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has threatened death for anyone who takes up arms against him.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters in Rome Wednesday that there are credible reports that about 1,000 people have been killed in Libya's ongoing crackdown.  

There are reports that anti-government protesters have gained control of some Libyan cities, such as Bayda and Benghazi.  Frattini says he has heard this is the case in parts of eastern Libya, though he notes that information from the region is far from complete.  

"But as far as I know from our embassy, the province of east Cyrenaica is lost to the control of the government of Tripoli while in the other areas there are, I would say, riots, there are people shooting, it is a difficult situation. And unfortunately what we want is that the government ceases immediately the violence," Frattini said.

Restraint urged

Michael Mandelbaum, professor of American Foreign Policy at John Hopkins University, discusses U.S. response to unrest in North Africa, Mideast:

The Arab League, the United Nations, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others have urgently called for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to show restraint.  

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in the U.S., told reporters late Tuesday that he would be very surprised if Gadhafi manages to hold on to power.

He said Libya's strongman only has the allegiance of a part of the army, which Abrams said is weak and fractured.  

"The army has been disorganized in Libya for a long time, I think, partially because Gadhafi came to power in a coup and doesn't want a coup to repeat itself against him," Abrams said. "So the army is already weak, and the army is already split along geographical and tribal lines." 

In a rambling speech Tuesday, Gadhafi vowed to battle on, and he called on his supporters to fight those who challenge his more than four-decade rule.

Anti-government protests also continue elsewhere in the region.

Yemen protests


Video from Yemen's capital, Sana'a, shows pro-government groups firing upon pro-reform protesters outside Sana'a University Tuesday night.  At least one person was reported killed and 38 others injured in the clashes.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says witnesses report that Yemeni police allowed the government-allied demonstrators to attack the protesters outside the university.  

Activists in Yemen have staged daily protests since February 11 to call for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.  

Bahrain

In Bahrain, where reform-seeking demonstrators have also mounted rallies, the Sunni monarchy is making concessions to the protesters.  

Cheers erupted Wednesday when authorities released some activists who had been detained in recent demonstrations.  More than 20 Shi'ites who were accused of trying to topple the Sunni-led government were also freed.  In another concession, the monarchy is allowing activists to hold peaceful protests.   More than 100,000 people marched in the capital, Manama on Tuesday.

 

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid