Posts tagged ‘Benghazi’

2011/03/03

Libya’s Systematic Torture Revealed

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2011/03/02

Shared Bonds Boost Anti-Gaddafi Forces

The people of Libya are closer than ever to freedom from the 42-year-long rule of the world’s longest serving leader in the Arab world, Muammar Gaddafi. Though notorious for severely repressing opposition movements, Libyans no longer fear their government and are now closer than ever to changing it. The Libyan people’s direct confrontation with the Gaddafi dictatorship highlights the many factors that have brought them closer than ever to their long-awaited goal.

One of the main contributors to unrest in the country lies in Libya’s economic sector. Libya is one of the richest Arab nations in terms of its natural resources particularly oil. The country exports approximately 1.5 million barrels per day, yet approximately one-third of Libyans live at or below the poverty line.

Aside from facing economic challenges, Libya also enjoys the unique position of being “sandwiched” between the Arab world’s two successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. This provides not only inspiration but also logistical support to popular revolt in Libya. It is therefore no surprise that the Libyan revolution began and has been most robust in the easternmost part of the country where people enjoy close relationships with their Egyptian neighbors.

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2011/02/25

Libya, Feb. 25: The Noose Tightens

[Ed. Note: Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


BBC’s Map of Military Bases (click to enlarge)


UPDATE 23:28 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wedeman via Twitter: “Libyan State TV running what looks like a Qaddafi fashion show set to bad music. #Libya”

UPDATE 22:51 GMT: Which A-listers have been partying with the Gaddafi family over the years? If you guessed Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Usher, you’re less then half-right because you left out Jon Bon Jovi, Lindsay Lohan, supermodels Miranda Kerr and Victoria Silvestedt and BET Founder Robert Johnson. The full story is in this post here.

UPDATE 22:45 GMT: AFP is now reporting that the Libyan ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Shalgham, has defected.

UPDATE 22:27 GMT: The Guardian is reporting that UK officials have told Gaddafi loyalists to defect or face war crimes.

UPDATE 22:18 GMT: Associated Press has a witness providing a first-hand account of today’s violence in Tripoli: “In the first wave of fire, seven people within 10 meters of me were killed. Many people were shot in the head…it was really like we are dogs.”

UPDATE 21:28 GMT: Reuters just reported Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, as saying he’s been holding the army back; hopes for peaceful settlement “by tomorrow”

UPDATE 21:22 GMT: Rebel groups are reporting that Gaddafi forces in Tripoli are firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters [Ed. Note: By recent standards, rubber bullets and tear gas is a humanitarian improvement.]

UPDATE 21:18 GMT: Libya’s ambassador to the UN, Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham just addressed the UN Security Council. He called for sanctions against the Gaddafi family and their supporters, saying that effective action must be taken to stop Gaddafi, his sons and their supporters.

Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Libyan UN Ambassador


UPDATE 20:06 GMT: Reuters lists highlights from statement released by White House:
*US has decided to move forward with unilateral sanctions against Libya.
*US banks were advised to take steps to monitor financial transactions related to Libya.
*US has suspended limited military cooperation with Libya
*US sales of military parts to Libya have been frozen
*Obama to meet on Monday with U.N. Secretary General Ban about Libya
*U.S. uses full extent of intelligence to monitor Gaddafi regime
*US prepared to take more action against Libya if necessary

UPDATE 19:35 GMT: AFP reporting the US closing its embassy in Tripoli.

UPDATE 19:16 GMT: Important new article, A Guide To Libya’s Tribes, has just been posted here.

UPDATE 19:14 GMT: Libya’s satellite channel al-Libiyah reports Saif al-Islam will hold a news conference “in a few moments.”

UPDATE 19:11 GMT: State TV reports the regime is in talks with “the misguided youth,” who “have been handing over their weapons and joining the mass marches alongside the brother and leader of the revolution.”


Sounds of gunfire rattle residents of Tripoli
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UPDATE 17:44 GMT: The Washington Post’s description of the post-prayer attack on worshipers in Tripoli today: “Security forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators streaming out of mosques after Friday prayers, resulting in multiple casualties, news agencies reported. Details were sketchy, but Arabic-language television networks said that between two and seven people had been killed.”

UPDATE 17:41 GMT: More on yesterday’s defection of the Gaddafi “cousin,” Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, from the Wall Street Journal: The departure…could constitute a particularly stinging blow. “Al-Dam is in many respects closer to Gaddafi than his sons are,” said Tim Niblock, professor of Middle East politics at Exeter University. “He is actually Gaddafi’s cousin, but is more like his brother because Gaddafi lived with them for a significant part of his youth. If he has now made a statement against Gaddafi, then it is very close to the end.”

UPDATE 17:32 GMT: Reuters is citing a witness saying the road from Tripoli’s military airport to the city center is lined with police and soldiers as cars are being searched.


Gaddafi Addressing Tripoli Crowd (via Al Jazeera English)
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UPDATE 17:09 GMT: Gaddafi: “I am amidst the masses, I am in Tripoli, in Green Square. Here are the youth, the sons and grandchildren of the jihad battles, whose fathers destroyed the Italian empire.”

UPDATE 17:07 GMT: Gaddafi: “This is the people that brought Italy to its knees… Sing, dance, and prepare. I am amid the masses, and we shall fight, and we shall defeat them.”

UPDATE 16:57 GMT: Gaddafi: “We will fight if they want.”

UPDATE 16:55 GMT: Libyan state television is showing Muammar Gaddafi addressing a pro-Gaddafi crowd in central Tripoli.

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING MORE VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/24

Rebels Take Misurata, Tripoli Reinforces

Zawiya Massacre: 100+ Gunned Down


[Ed. Note: The most recent update is here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


Massacre in Zawiyah
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Libya – Map – Control of Key Cities Feb. 23-24


UPDATE 22:58 GMT: Situation in Zawiya updated to “fighting on the outskirts”

UPDATE 22:18 GMT: Reports coming in that Zawiya is “under attack” right now. Not sure how they’re defining that yet.

UPDATE 21:55 GMT: The US State Department has issued a statement warning Americans “against travel to Libya.” [Ed. Note: Holy crap! They’re just getting to this now?]


Fatima, one of the innocents.
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Video of the “underground prison” discovered in Benghazi has been posted.
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UPDATE 21:20 GMT: Al Jazeera’s lead story tonight will be that former Libyan Justice Minister [Ed. Note: is that an oxymoron or what?] Mustafa Abdel Galil is saying that Gaddafi has biological and chemical weapons and will not hesitate to use them. [Ed. Note: That could be a red-line for the western powers. The US and its allies are well-aware of Gaddafi’s stockpile. See previous updates for that.]

UPDATE 21:03 GMT: Osama’s Tweet is making the rounds:


UPDATE 20:53 GMT: Via Twitter, Libyan bloggers are reporting that text messages sent to residents of Tripoli in the past 30 minutes by Libyana, the country’s leading cellphone provider, advised them that a local cleric issued a fatwa against watching television channels “like Al Jazeera,” that incite bloodshed.

UPDATE 19:50 GMT: AFP is quoting a Tunisian official saying that nearly 20,000 people have fled Libya into Tunisia over the past four days.

UPDATE 19:42 GMT: People in Benghazi are now tidying up.



UPDATE 18:42 GMT: The Swiss government has announced its intention to locate and freeze any Gaddafi assets that may be held by its banks.

UPDATE 18:36 GMT: The switch to the rebel side by Major General Suleiman Mahmoud is seen as pivotal by Tim Niblock, a professor of Middle East politics at Exeter University who has known Mahmoud for years since supervising his daughter’s Ph.D work. “Mahmoud is a key person because he’s been the military commander of eastern Libya more or less since Gaddafi came to power,” Niblock told The Wall Street Journal. “I think his ambitions at the moment would be to work to bring together some kind of coalition which enables a transitional government to work until there are elections. I doubt he’d want political power, but he would probably have to be a key person in any development.” Niblock said he believed there were already contacts taking place between the eastern rebel leaders and army commanders in the west of the country. “They all know each other very well and the intention would be to effect a more rapid and less bloody end to the regime. The Libyan army on the whole resents the way it’s been under-resourced and displaced by the security battalions.”

UPDATE 18:31 GMT: Reuters is reporting that Libya’s Quryna newspaper says 23 people have been killed and 44 wounded in Zawiya.

UPDATE 17:15 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wedeman tweeted: “Libyan Air Force pilot tells me that a colleague in base near #Tripoli says pilots executed for refusing regime orders.”

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING MORE VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/22

Gaddafi Speaks: “I Will Not Leave Libya – I Will Be A Martyr”


[Ed. Note: More recent updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]

New video of an undated street battle in Benghazi.
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UPDATE 22:56 GMT: Just added a portion from today’s New York Times that draws on numerous previously published reports to piece together some of the connections between Gaddafi’s money and Italy – and the close ties between Gaddafi and Berlusconi. You can find the post and link to the full article here.

UPDATE 22:43 GMT: BBC just re-quoted an unidentified person’s quote that “reports on Libyan TV – pro-Gaddafi supporters entered hospitals, rounded the wounded and killed them in an unspecified location. Where is their help?! Who is out there defending these people??”[Ed. Note: Without discounting the possible veracity – and not that anyone covering this hasn’t jumped the gun (uh…battleships bombing Benghazi – guilty here), that’s as unconfirmed as unconfirmed can be for the BBC.]

UPDATE 22:37 GMT: A lot of tweets questioning the validity of the confirmed report (it came from Reuters) of loyalists being sent to Sabratha.

UPDATE 22:15 GMT: Fighting in Tripoli’s Sarman district was confirmed earlier.

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2011/02/21

Gaddafi Launches Airstrikes On Protesters

Gaddafi Says He’s In Tripoli, Little Else


[Ed. Note: This post has been continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


UPDATE 01:03 GMT: Here’s a screen image pulled from Libyan state TV:


UPDATE 00:53 GMT: It’s been mentioned by a few people that Gaddafi could be on his way to do an actual interview. If so, perhaps there will be cameras for the arrival, à la “Red Carpet” style.

UPDATE 00:49 GMT: Some Twitter responses to Gaddafi’s “speech:”

SO I HAVE A 40 MINUTE SPEECH AND YOU SAY TOO LONG, MY DAD HAS A 15 SECOND SPEECH AND YOU SAY TOO SHORT – YOU GUYS JUST LIKE TO COMPLAIN – from @SeifIslamGaddfi

At least he kept his statement short enough to tweet. – from @acarvin

By the way, now that this has put Libya firmly on the map, I hope this is the last time someone says – “oooo your from Liberia??” – from @libyansrevolt

UPDATE 00:31 GMT: Full text of Gaddafi’s “address to the nation,” via BBC Monitoring: “I am satisfied, because I was speaking in front of the youth in the Green Square tonight, but the rain came praise to God it bears well. I want to clarify for them that I am in Tripoli not in Venezuela. Do not believe these channels they are dogs. Goodbye.”

UPDATE 00:31 GMT: So we went from “an address to the nation” to “a speech” to “an interview” to, ultimately, a soundbite as the long-time Libyan strongman gets in his car. Nice to know he holds his own umbrella, though. That was a nice “man-of-the-people” touch.

UPDATE 00:26 GMT: From Associated Press: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has appeared for less than a minute on state television and made brief remarks to say he was in the capital Tripoli and deny rumors he had to fled to Venezuela amid the unrest sweeping his country. Gaddafi was seated in the passenger seat of a car holding an umbrella up through the open door. It has been raining in the capital for two days. His remarks were aired about 2 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

UPDATE 00:19 GMT: Gaddafi appeared briefly on state TV – says he is in Tripoli, not Venezuela. Will update.

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/21

Libya: Update From Western Media

Highlights from reports filed by major media outlets since the speech by Saif al-Gaddafi …

The New York Times:
A five-day-old uprising in Libya took control of its second-largest city of Benghazi and spread for the first time to the capital of Tripoli late on Sunday as the heir-apparent son of its strongman, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, warned Libyans in a televised speech that their oil-rich country would fall into civil war and even renewed Western “colonization” if they threw off his father’s 40-year-long rule.

In a rambling, disjointed address delivered at about 1 a.m. on Monday, the son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, played down the uprising sweeping the country, which witnesses and rights activists say has left more than 200 people dead and hundreds wounded from gunfire by security forces. He repeated several times that “Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt” — the neighbors to the east and west that both overthrew their veteran autocrats in the space of the last six weeks.

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2011/02/20

Gaddafi Jr: Criminals, Druggies, Drunks Bringing Civil War, Poverty, Colonialism

Benghazi Falls, Heavy Gunfire In Tripoli

220 Dead, Could Top 500


[Ed. Note: This post has been continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here, here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


UPDATE 00:02 GMT: Still trying to figure out which speech was stranger – Saif Gaddafi’s or Hosni Mubarak’s.

UPDATE 23:57 GMT: Fresh reports of gunfire coming from Tripoli.



UPDATE 23:51 GMT: Al Arabiya is reporting that “the Egyptian news service MENA is reporting” Muammar al-Gaddafi has left Libya and is on his way to Venezuela. Don’t know what it’s worth. The son, Saif, never said the Gaddafi family was staying.

UPDATE 23:41 GMT: Gathering reaction now. Would love to read your comments.

UPDATE 23:39 GMT: A rambling speech.

UPDATE 23:31 GMT: An opposition leader just tweeted: “Mubarak tried this, and he left the next day, you are bringing a day of rage tomorrow”

UPDATE 23:28 GMT: “Europeans and Americans will come back forcefully” – they won’t accept an Islamic emirate. “They will come and occupy you by force.”

UPDATE 23:26 GMT: “If we agree on this step tomorrow, we can spare the blood…or prepare to go to civil war.”

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING ALL VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/19

Fighting Intensifies, 180+ Dead In Libya


[Ed. Note: This post has been continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


Violence escalated today as opposition groups battled Gaddafi loyalists and Libyan police and military for the sixth day.

UPDATE 23:56 GMT: The UK’s Independent is reporting that as many as 200 people were killed in today’s fighting in Libya.

UPDATE 19:16 GMT: Associated Press adds details to the 18:32 Al Jazeera update: Snipers fired on thousands of people gathered in Benghazi…a hospital official said one man was hit in the head with an anti-aircraft missile. The weapons apparently were used to intimidate the population.

UPDATE 18:32 GMT: Al Jazeera is reporting witnesses telling it that Libyan forces have opened fire at a funeral for protesters killed in Benghazi, killing 15

UPDATE 17:55 GMT: Cannot be confirmed, but…via Twitter, @LibyanYouthMovement: now confirmed GADDAFIs Nephew now DEAD in birka barracks, will be on the news shortly

UPDATE 17:40 GMT: An underground Libyan Internet Radio Station is claiming 55 people have just been killed in Benghazi in a mortar attack. The station also stated that Benghazi’s Al Jala Hospital currently has 200 dead in its morgue.

UPDATE 16:34 GMT: Website LibyaFeb17.com (some English translations are being posted) has posted an audio recording from a Tripoli resident saying prisoners have escaped from prison after a riot.

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING ALL VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/16

Unrest Spreads: Protests Flare In Libya

[Ed. Note: This post was continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


The BBC is reporting that “hundreds” of people clashed with police and pro-government supporters in the Libyan city of Benghazi, amid ongoing unrest in the region.

Demonstrators chanting slogans against the “corrupt rulers of the country” were attacked by police firing tear gas who violently dispersed the protesters, according to Al Jazeera sources. An online edition of a privately-published Libyan newspaper said that 13 people were injured.


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