Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi are waging a bloody operation to keep him in power, with residents reporting gunfire in parts of the capital Tripoli and other cities, while other citizens, including the country’s former ambassador to India, are saying that warplanes were used to “bomb” protesters.
A Palestinian student holds up a placard displaying the Libyan flag flanked by the Tunisian (left) and Egyptian (right) flags during a protest against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Gaza City on Tuesday. (AFP/Mahmud Hams) Nearly 300 people are reported to have been killed in continuing violence in the capital and across the north African country as demonstrations enter their second week.
Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has warned that the widespread attacks against civilians “amount to crimes against humanity”, and called for an international investigation in possible human rights violations.
Witnesses in Tripoli told Al Jazeera that fighter jets had bombed portions of the city in fresh attacks on Monday night. The bombing focused on ammunition depots and control centres around the capital.
Helicopter gunships were also used, they said, to fire on the streets in order to scare demonstrators away.
Several witnesses said that “mercenaries” were firing on civilians in the city, while pro-Gaddafi forces warned people not to leave their homes via loudspeakers mounted on cars.
Residents of the Tajura neighbourhood, east of Tripoli, said that dead bodies are still lying on the streets from earlier violence. At least 61 people were killed in the capital on Monday, witnesses told Al Jazeeera. Read more…