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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid