Libyan forces fire on mourners at funeral again
(02-20) 10:49 PST CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Libyan forces fired machine-guns at thousands of mourners marching in a funeral for anti-government protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi Sunday, a day after commandos and foreign mercenaries loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi attacked demonstrators with assault rifles and other heavy weapons.
A doctor at one Benghazi hospital where many of the casualties are being taken said 20 people were killed Sunday. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said 173 people died — mostly in Benghazi — in three days of unrest from Thursday through Saturday. A Switzerland-based Libyan activist said 11 people were killed in the city of Beyida on Wednesday. The latest numbers brought the toll to at least 204 since Wednesday, although a precise count has been difficult because of Libya’s tight restrictions on reporting.
The crackdown in oil-rich Libya is shaping up to be the most brutal repression of anti-government protests that began with uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The protests spread quickly around the region to Bahrain in the Gulf, impoverished Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, the North African neighbors of Tunisia — Libya, Algeria, Morocco — and outside the Middle East to places including the East African nation of Djibouti and even China.