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

Friday; day of giant protests in Libya

Thousands of protesters in Tajura, 14 km east of Tripoli, today are flocking to the capital

© Anonymous/afrol News
afrol News, 25 February
- Friday was D-day fro Tunisia's Ben Ali and for Egypt's Mubarak. Prepared mass protests in Libya, including Tripoli, aim at copying these victories. But the death toll is rising.

Most of Libya is under the control of protesters. Here, the Friday prayers have been attended by huge masses in an unprecedented show of Libyan unity. In Benghazi, Al-Bayda and other "liberated" cities in eastern Libya, the Friday prayers marked the start of a "march of the millions", demonstrating against the Ghaddafi regime.

Banners among Benghazi citizens left it clear that Libya was united. "Tripoli is our capital," several slogans went, to counter the regime's allegations that the protests were driven by separatism. Others said "Libyan are one tribe," emphasising there was nothing into allegations of a possible tribal war in the country.

The protesters have been mobilising millions also outside their calm strongholds in the east. In the remote Saharan oasis Al-Kufra, in hands of the protesters, there are anti-Ghaddafi marches. Western cities report the same, from the mountain areas around Az-Zintan south of Tripoli, to Zuwara close to the Tunisian border.

But all eyes are on Tripoli, where the fight against the Ghaddafi regime has to be won. Protesters report that there are now reinforcements underway to Tripoli from towns and cities close to the capital, including from Misrata, Tajura, Al-Zawya and Az-Zintan.

According to unconfirmed reports, these reinforcements have already arrived "the outskirts of Tripoli." More reports claim that Libya army units, supporting the protesters, are among these reinforcements entering Tripoli.

A larger operation from the "liberated areas" in eastern Libya to assist civilians in Tripoli so far seems to have been thwarted by an attack on Sirte and Misrata by elite brigades loyal to the regime. The offensive, several unconfirmed reports say, has practically separated the areas under protesters' control in the east from those i

Thousands of protesters in Tajura, 14 km east of Tripoli, today are flocking to the capital

© Anonymous/afrol News
n the west.

Transitional authorities in Benghazi, composed of both civilians and security forces, say they expect an attack against the city at any moment, preparing for its defence. But, they emphasise, they keep preparing a "march towards Tripoli" to defend the revolution.

The "final battle of Tripoli" for the moment therefore seems to be up to the capital's residents and reinforcements from nearby cities and towns. And the battle is ongoing.

Protesters in Tripoli today have mostly avoided the infamous Green Square, defended by pro-regime forces, rather concentrating on the avenues and open spaces along the capital's coastline. Here, they hope, they will be less exposed to snipers, mercenaries and armed troops.

Throughout the afternoon, however, tens of thousands of protesters from Tripoli and reinforcements from outside are streaming towards the Green Square, where fighting is increasing. Another hotspot area is the Fashloom suburb, close to Tajura, where protests are greater than ever.

But there are already confirmed reports of shooting against the large demonstrating masses and of at least two deaths and many wounded. Gunshots and explosions are heard and reported from all over the city, including resident neighbourhood and downtown Tripoli.

During the afternoon, all reports from Tripoli seem to indicate that the fighting is intensifying, with pro-regime forces attacking protesters wherever they see them. There are even unconfirmed reports of fire being opened at worshippers during the Friday prayers.

So far, there are no reports of protesters shooting back or armed forces supporting the protesters being involved in the fighting. But this could soon change, as repeated reports talk of protesters backed by armed units entering Tripoli in large numbers.

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