See also:
» 29.01.2013 - Libya peace very fragile, warns UN
» 31.03.2011 - Libya's Foreign Minister defects
» 24.03.2011 - How cyber-activism lent savvy to North African protests
» 18.03.2011 - Ten nations ready to attack Ghaddafi regime
» 18.03.2011 - Africa defies AU chief's support for Ghaddafi
» 18.03.2011 - France: We can start bombing Libya tonight
» 17.03.2011 - Libya rebels shoot down fighter jets
» 15.03.2011 - Ghaddafi thanks Germany, Russia and China

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Politics | Human rights

Benghazi units prepare to liberate Tripoli

People in "liberated" Benghazi are celebrating their victory

© Libyan Youth Movement/afrol News
afrol News, 24 February
- In "liberated" eastern Libya, people are queuing to join units of the armed forces that plan to go westwards to rescue protesters in Tripoli from Ghaddafi's terror.

Benghazi, Libya's second city and the focus of unrest, has been a scene of celebrations for the last few days, after army units united with protesters and made it the centre of "liberated Libya." People have danced in the streets, sent up fireworks and even returned their arms to the military as popular committees have brought new order to the city.

But Benghazi resident have also followed the horror still unfolding in Tripoli, the capital. They are increasingly receiving messages of desperation from Tripoli, with the population there asking for help from Benghazi and other "liberated areas".

Today, reports from Benghazi indicate these appeals from Tripoli are being heard. Military units in eastern Libya have now united under a single command in solidarity with the protesters. In Benghazi, civilians are queuing to obtain guns in order to join an anticipated battle for Tripoli.

Also in nearby Al-Bayda, the people has set up a provisional government that is trying to reorganise the city and provide security. Residents agree on Libyan unity and make preparations to join a fight to liberate Tripoli.

However, while "liberated" eastern Libya is mostly safe and quiet, it is still difficult to organise anything beyond the limits of one ci

"Liberated areas" in Libya, 23 February

© afrol News
ty or town. A coordinated advance towards the west would take time to organise.

Ghaddafi regime preparing
But the Ghaddafi regime seems to have been preparing for a possible attack from the east. After the cities of Syrte and Misrata had fallen to protesters on Sunday and Monday, these strategic places on the road from the east towards Tripoli now are under heavy attack from troops loyal to Colonel Ghaddafi.

Today, there are several reports from Misrata confirming the city is being attacked. "I hear heavy bombing and firing," a Misrata resident said over the phone today. Some talk of "a massacre going on."

Unconfirmed reports strongly indicate that the feared "Khamis Brigade" is heading the attack on Misrata. This elite brigade, headed by the Libyan leader's son Khamis al-Ghaddafi, is described as well equipped and disciplined.

It the key Khamis Brigade indeed is in Misrata, that would mean that the Ghaddafi regime's main strategy is to protect Tripoli from a foreseen advance from the eastern "liberated" areas. It had been widely believed that the Khamis Brigade would be used in Tripoli, but it has not been observed there so far.

Read more about the Khamis Brigade here.

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