Is a massacre going on in Libya, covered up by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s crackdown on information getting out of his country? The Daily Telegraph has an article suggesting it is.
Its headline and sub headline:
Libya protests: 140 ‘massacred’ as Gaddafi sends in snipers to crush dissent
Women and children leapt from bridges to their deaths as they tried to escape a ruthless crackdown by Libyan forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
And here are some key highlights:
Snipers shot protesters, artillery and helicopter gunships were used against crowds of demonstrators, and thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes as the Libyan regime sought to crush the uprising.
“Dozens were killed … We are in the midst of a massacre here,” a witness told Reuters. The man said he helped take victims to hospital in Benghazi.
Libyan Muslim leaders told security forces to stop killing civilians, responding to a spiralling death toll from unrest which threatens veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi’s authority.
Mourners leaving a funeral for protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi came under fire, killing at least 15 people and wounding many more. A hospital official said one of those who died was apparently struck on the head by an anti-aircraft missile, and many had been shot in the head and chest.
The hospital was overwhelmed and people were streaming to the facility to donate blood. “Many of the dead and the injured are relatives of doctors here,” he said. “They are crying and I keep telling them to please stand up and help us.”
Is 2012 going to be the year around the world where citizens protest against and battle their governments? And as governments see where “demonostrator power” can go, are we heading into a period now where we will see government crackdowns all over the globe? These are logical questions — and what is going on in Libya isn’t pretty:
Libyan special forces launched a dawn attack on Saturday against hundreds of protesters, including lawyers and judges, camped in front of the courthouse in Benghazi. “They fired tear gas on protesters in tents and cleared the areas after many fled carrying the dead and the injured,” one protester said by phone from the city.
Video clips on the internet showed jubilant crowds at the start of the protest smashing down concrete statues of their ruler’s Little Green Book, containing his sayings, and fighting running street battles with security forces. There were smaller protests in Tripoli, a stronghold of the Gaddafi family whose population received a much better share of Libya’s oil wealth.
…….One man, who gave his name only as Mohammed, told the BBC: “The army are joining the people, the people are going out of their homes and fighting street by street and they are winning.”
A Benghazi cleric, Abellah al-Warfali, said he had a list of 16 people who had been killed, most with bullet wounds to the head and chest. “I saw with my own eyes a tank crushing two people in a car,” he said. “They didn’t do any harm to anyone.”
Demonstrators claimed the regime had unleashed French-speaking African mercenaries against them, recruited from nearby countries such as Chad to help prop up the regime. Shaky videos filmed secretly from inside buildings and posted on YouTube showed the soldiers on the streets of Benghazi. Several were reportedly caught by the crowd and lynched.
There’s a lot more so go to the link and read it all.
As Charles Johnson succinctly puts it:
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has apparently decided he’s not going down without murdering a lot of people.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.