Protest in Libya

Libya: Snipers shoot mourners, killing 15

Moammar Gadhafi's forces fire at mourners in Benghazi killing 15 people, wounding scores more as regime tries to squelch calls for end to ruler's 42-year grip on power. Meanwhile, Egypt announces it will release 222 of its remaining 487 political prisoners

Moammar Gadhafi's forces fired on mourners leaving a funeral for protesters Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi, killing at least 15 people and wounding scores more as the regime tried to squelch calls for an end to the ruler's 42-year grip on power.


Libyan protesters were back on the street for the fifth straight day, but Gadhafi has taken a hard line toward the dissent that has ripped through the Middle East and swept him up with it. Government forces also wiped out a protest encampment and clamped down on Internet service throughout Libya

Snipers fired on thousands of people gathered in Benghazi, a focal point of the unrest, to mourn 35 protesters who were shot on Friday, a hospital official said.


A hospital official said 15 people were killed, including one man who was apparently hit in the head with an anti-aircraft missile. The weapons apparently were used to intimidate the population.


"Many of the dead and the injured are relatives of doctors here," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "They are crying and I keep telling them to please stand up and help us."

The official said many people were shot in the head and chest. The hospital was overwhelmed and people were streaming to the facility to donate blood.


Like most Libyans who have talked to The Associated Press during the revolt, the hospital official spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.


Before Saturday's violence, Human Rights Watch had estimated at least 84 people have been killed.

Doctors in Benghazi said Friday that 35 bodies had been brought to the hospital following attacks by security forces backed by militias, on top of more than a dozen killed the day before. Standing in front of Jalaa Hospital morgue, a witness said that the bodies bore wounds from being shot "directly at the head and the chests."



Egyptian prisoners released

Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said on Saturday the government will soon release 222 of the country's remaining 487 political prisoners, the official MENA news agency reported.


Only a handful of them were arrested during the 18-day revolt that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak on February 11, he said.


"Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq announced that there are 487 remaining political prisoners and the government will soon release 222 of them," the agency reported.


"He said there was only a small group of those arrested during the events of the January 25 revolution, no more than a handful, and their release is being studied now," MENA reported. 



פרסום ראשון: 02.19.11, 22:01
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