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Libyan Opposition Gains Greater Control; Mercenaries Roam Tripoli With Orders To Shoot; U.S. Tries To Evacuate Citizens (VIDEO)

Libyan Opposition Gains Greater Control; Mercenaries Roam Tripoli With Orders To Shoot; U.S. Tries To Evacuate Citizens (VIDEO)

The uprising against Libya’s leader Moammar Gaddafi grew stronger on Wednesday as the opposition took wider and greater control of the eastern part of the country, and senior level political defections continued.

Although news out of Tripoli is difficult to confirm due to the government crackdown on the internet and media, there were reports that the streets of the capital city – still a Gaddafi stronghold – were deserted Wednesday night as people stayed inside, fearful to be seen. Reports abound that hired mercenaries from Africa have been instructed by the government to shoot at will. 

ABC News reports eyewitnesses described “a bloody scene unfolding in the streets of Tripoli.” As one resident told ABC’s reporter by telephone: “A woman went looking out the balcony of her house. They shot her dead, looking out of the balcony. She wasn’t shouting, she wasn’t even protesting. Just looking out of the balcony. They shot her dead… These are not humans. These are gorillas.”

In the meantime, the government sent a text message Wednesday that called for people to go back to work and carry on as usual.

Take a look at this video that purportedly shows African mercenaries patrolling the streets of Tripoli at night:

On the heels of the increased reports of gunshots and violence, the United States and other countries continue to try to evacuate citizens. The State Department chartered a ferryboat to take hundreds of Americans from Tripoli to Malta, but the first trip is now delayed due to bad weather.

Libyans, too, are trying to flee. CNN reports people trying to get across the border to Tunisia have been coming up against multiple checkpoints — as many as 20 — where Libyan security officers have been confiscating cell phones, and SIM cards, and any possible evidence of the government crackdown. Tripoli’s airport was reportedly jammed with people trying to get out. 

Time magazine reports Gaddafi has ordered his security forces to sabotage oil facilities and start blowing up oil pipelines to cut off flows to ports in the Mediterranean. In fact, according to multiple reports, two military pilots who were ordered to bomb oil fields southwest of Benghazi today chose defy orders, and instead hit the eject button, parachuting to safety before crashing their aircraft into an uninhabited area.

Over the past few days the opposition has gained control of areas in the east — in Benghazi and now Tobruk — and new reports today say rebels have claimed victory in Misurata, a provincial center just 130 miles east of the capital and Libya’s third largest city — which as the New York Times points out, is “another indication that the rebellion was encroaching on cities closer to Colonel Qaddafi’s stronghold of Tripoli.” The Times also says large protests were being reported in the southern city of Sabha, considered a Gaddafi stronghold — and yet another indication of the dictator’s dwindling power.

Take a look at this video from the SaveLibya YouTube channel showing protesters in Tobruk raising what they are calling the “Libyan flag of democracy”:

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition asking Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has a close relationship with Moammar Gaddafi, to condemn violence against the Libyan protesters.

 

Most Recent Care2 Coverage of the unrest in the Middle East:

World Leaders React To Gaddafi’s TV Address; Update On Protests In Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria and Egypt

In Televison Address, Gaddafi Vows To Fight On And “Die A Martyr”

Gaddafi’s Grip on Libya Weakens; EU Fears Mass Influx of African Migrants [VIDEO]

Egyptian Union Leader to Wisconsin Protesters: ‘We Stand with You as You Stood with Us’

An Arab Spring?: Developments in Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Bahrain [VIDEO]

 

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Photo: screenshot of Tobruk flying Libyan flag of democracy via SaveLibya YouTube channel 

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9 comments

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11:37AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

The situation in Libya warrants a no-fly zone IMMEDIATELY. The people are being slaughtered and the situation needs ACTION NOW!!!! In view of the fact that Gaddafi is now arming people he's brought in from out of the country to kill his own people, who he referred to as cockroaches, meets the criteria of genocide. That should be sufficient cause to send in UN forces to assist and protect the rights of all Libyans. THE UN NEEDS TO STOP DEBATING AND GO INTO ACTION!

2:45AM PST on Feb 25, 2011

It seems that no one is interested to save the animals in Libya. Aircrafts are not allowing pets to accompany their owners even though with all health certifiactes. Ships in different countries contacted but I received no feedback to the queries received.
Max Farrugia International animal Rescue Malta

4:13PM PST on Feb 24, 2011

You really have to wonder why the military, composed of citizens, would actually go about killing innocent people. Is it a mindless thing or just a heartless thing... human animals with no regard or respect for life, or understanding about anything meaningful..

3:28PM PST on Feb 24, 2011

who is crazier- Gadaffi, or the demented fuckwits acting on his orders?

1:01PM PST on Feb 24, 2011

I'm following the revolutions and I'm on the edge of my seat.
all of my best wishes are for the east right now,
because nothing is more important to fight for then social equality.
I hope that no one else has to die.

11:09AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

Gaddafi should be running as a Republican.

7:50AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

Miserable situation over there. Gaddafi and his goons are beyond the pale.

5:24AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

The best outcome would be if Qaddaffi and son could be persuaded to leave and go live with their friend the prime minister of Italy. Second best would be for the United States to evacuate everybody who wants to leave and bring them here as refugees.

6:20PM PST on Feb 23, 2011

Very scary situation. I hope it ends well.

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