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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora