Libya 'uses mercenaries' to keep order on streets as 200 die in violent clashes
Libyan forces fired machine guns at mourners as they went to bury those killed in violent clashes today as the death toll topped 200.
At least 15 more people were killed today and there was bloodshed during funeral marches for the second day in a row.
A doctor in a hospital in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the worst of the violence has happened, said his morgue had at least 200 dead from six days of unrest - although the total death toll remains unknown.
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Egyptian army soldiers stand in guard in front of the Libyan embassy during a demonstration calling for the ousting of the Libyan leader in Cairo, Egypt
Support for Gaddafi? Image broadcast on state television appears to show numerous supporters of the leader at an event in Tripoli on Saturday. Women and children were among his supporters, many of whom chanted and held pictures in support of their leader
He said the medical facility, one of two in Libya's second-largest city, is out of supplies and cannot treat more than 70 wounded in similar attacks on mourners and in other clashes yesterday.
Journalists have been expelled from Libya where Colonel Gaddafi has been in power for 41 years as the regime tries to keep control of the streets.
But the lack of reporters inside the country was making accurate reporting difficult.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said about 90 people were killed on Saturday bringing the total number of deaths, based on their estimations, to 173.
The Libyan government has not released any casualty figures or made any official comment on the violence.
Bahrain: Lawyers join an anti-government protester at the Pearl roundabout in Manama as opposition leaders gathered Sunday to examine offers for talks by rulers after nearly a week of protests
Bahrain: Anti-government protesters pray in a tent at the Pearl roundabout in Manama
Africa and mid-east unrest
The crackdown in the oil-rich state is shaping up to be the most brutal repression of anti-government protests that began with uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
Jamal Eddin Mohammed, a 53-year old resident of Benghazi, said thousands marched on Sunday towards the city's cemetery to bury at least a dozen
They feared more clashes with the government when they passed by Gaddafi's residential palace and the regime's local security headquarters.
A man shot in the leg today said marchers were carrying coffins to a cemetery and were passing by the compound when security forces fired in the air and then at
Sniper commandos yesterday shot dead at least 15 mourners attending the funeral of protesters killed during the Libyan uprising as Colonel Gaddafi's regime
attempted to crush dissent.
Scores more were seriously wounded, and one hospital official said a body appeared to have been hit by an anti-aircraft missile, as violence continued in Benghazi.
Fighting has also broken out in the cities of Al-Bayda, Ajdabiya, Zawiya, and Darnah, with eye-witnesses reporting Molotov cocktails, rifles and even antique Arabic sabres being used by demonstrators.
A crowd gathers as smoke billows from a building purported to be the internal security headquarters in Libya's second city of Benghazi in this still grab taken from video uploaded February 20, 2011
Joining the Arab Spring': stone-throwing youths attack police in Marrakech, Morocco
MOROCCANS GO ON THE MARCH
At least 2,000 people marched in Morocco's capital to demand a new constitution that would bring greater democracy in the North African kingdom.
Demonstrators shouted slogans calling for economic opportunity, educational reform, better health services and help in coping with rising living costs during the march on central Hassan II Avenue in Rabat.
Some plainclothes police officers mingled in the crowd but police were generally discreet in the latest demonstration in the Arab world after street protests toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.
Stone-throwing youths clashed with police near the ocre-colored walls of touristic hub of Marrakech, where angry mobs overturned and torched several parked cars.
The day of demonstration was Morocco's entree into the series of protests that have swept up North Africa and the wider Arab world after popular uprisings brought down longtime autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt.
As he suffered the most serious threat to his rule since coming to power in 1969, Gaddafi made it clear that he did not want a repeat of the so-called Facebook Revolutions which ended the rule of despots in Egypt and Tunisia this year.
'Gaddafi's fear is that eastern cities will fall, and the revolt a full-scale will reach Tripoli' said Omar, a 24-year-old civil servant in Benghazi, who asked for
his surname to be withheld for security reasons.'
Security sources suggested the leader has hired foot soldiers from neighbouring states to maintain law and order.
Marc Ginsburg, former U.S. ambassador to Morocco told CNN: 'First and foremost he (Gaddafi) has security support from Sudan and Pakistan and his intelligence advisers have received significant intelligence support from former KGB officials who were part of the Eastern Bloc countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Belarus.'
Libya has refused to comment on the reports.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch put the death toll at 104 but they said their figures compiled from interviews with witnesses and hospital officials, were 'conservative.'
The Libyan government has not released any casualty figures or made any official comment on the violence.
Anger: Crowds make their feelings known in Casablanca, Morocco
Demanding change: Protesters take part in a march in Rabat, Morocco, calling for a new constitution
Flashpoint: A burning car during a demonstration in Marrakech, one of several across Morocco today
Who's next to go? A demonstrator holds a sign with the pictures of former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
SHOTS FIRED IN YEMEN AS DEMONSTRATIONS GO INTO NINTH DAY
The leader of Yemen's secessionist Southern Movement was arrested in Aden and shots were fired at a demonstration in Sanaa on Sunday as unrest hit the impoverished Arab country for a ninth consecutive day.
Thousands of people also staged sit-ins in the cities of Ibb and Taiz, demanding the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who renewed his call for opposition parties to pursue a dialogue with the government.
Saleh, a U.S. ally battling a resurgent al Qaeda wing based in Yemen, has held power for 32 years in an Arabian Peninsula state that faces soaring unemployment, dwindling oil and water reserves, and chronic unrest in northern and southern provinces.
Hasan Baoum was arrested in the southern port city by an 'armed military group' in a hospital where he was receiving treatment and was taken to an unknown location, his youngest son Fadi Hasan Baoum said.
Baoum was also arrested in November last year, accused of planning illegal demonstrations.
Security in Aden was stepped up on Sunday with tanks and armoured vehicles out on the city's main streets.
In the capital, as many as 50 government supporters tried to break up a demonstration outside Sanaa University by more than 1,000 protesters.
A Saleh supporter fired shots from an assault rifle but there were no reported casualties and the government supporters soon dispersed, while the protesters continued their demonstration chanting, 'Leave, Ali!'
Both sides fired weapons on Saturday outside the university -- the first reported use of firearms by demonstrators. Several protesters were hurt in those clashes and five people including young girls were wounded in the southern town of Sheikh Othman, apparently by stray bullets.
Five soldiers were wounded on Saturday evening in Khormaksar and Sheikh Othman when protesters clashed with security forces, a local official and witnesses said on Sunday.
Protesters demonstrate against Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi in the Egyptian city of Alexandria
A demonstrator holds a picture of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi as another raises a sign saying 'Leave, leave' during a protest by Egyptians and Libyans living in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria
British Foreign Secretary William Hague today called on global leaders to speak out against Libya's crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.
DOWN TO BUSINESS IN BAHRAIN
Bahrain's opposition leaders gathered today to examine offers for talks by Bahrain's rulers after nearly a week of protests and deadly clashes in the Gulf
The streets in the tiny island kingdom are now calmer but at least seven people have been killed and hundreds injured since protests started on February 14.
Lawyers join with anti-government protester at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain
Bahrain's rulers appear desperate to open a political dialogue after sharp criticism from Western allies and overseers of next month's Formula One
A leader of the main Shiite political bloc, Abdul-Jalil Khalil, said the opposition is considering the monarchy's offer for dialogue, but he said no direct
talks were yet under way.
The protest demands include abolishing the monarchy's privileges to set policies and appoint all key political posts and address long-standing claims of
discrimination and abuses against Shiites, who represents about 70 per cent of Bahrain's 525,000 citizens.
Hundreds of protesters spent the night back in Pearl Square after the withdrawal on Saturday of security forces a day after they fired on marchers trying to reach the site.
Lawyers wearing suit and ties joined protesters at the square, holding lessons in Bahrain's constitution and calling for government officials to be put on trial.
Meanwhile Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said today the Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa will decide whether next month's season-opening
race can go ahead.
'The world should not hesitate to condemn those actions,' Hague told Sky News.
'What Colonel Gaddafi should be doing is respecting basic human rights and there is no sign of that in the dreadful response, the horrifying response, of the Libyan authorities to these protests.'
Mr Hague said he did not want to get drawn into the question of the future of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
'We don't try to choose who is running individual countries,' he said.
Libya watchers say an Egypt-style nationwide revolt is unlikely because Gaddafi has oil cash to smooth over social problems, and is still respected in much of the country.
Gaddafi has traditionally had less support in the eastern region around Benghazi than in the rest of the oil-producing country, and the city has been the scene of violence in the past.
'Gaddafi will find it hard to make concessions in order to survive. I think the attitude of the Libyan regime is that it's all or nothing,' Sir Richard Dalton, a former British ambassador to Libya, told the Independent on Sunday newspaper.
Libya itself is one of the biggest oil and gas exporters in the world, with companies like BP cashing in on its reserves following a recent period of détente with the west.
However, the unemployment rate is at 30 per cent, housing is in short supply, and there is no recognised political opposition whatsoever.
While Gaddafi himself has managed to soften his image abroad by giving up support for terrorist groups including the IRA, he remains a hate figure for many domestically.
Ahmed, a pro-democracy campaigner in Tripoli, said: 'He's one of the most odious Arab dictators in the world – a real thug in a uniform who sees nothing wrong with killing people to achieve his goals. If this turns into a full-scale revolution then it will be the best thing which happened to Arab democracy.'
Mobile phone connections have often been out of service and Internet service in Libya has been cut off, according to a U.S. company that monitors web traffic. People in Tripoli said they had Internet access late on Saturday.
A Benghazi resident said security forces were confined to a compound from which snipers were firing at protesters.
'Right now, the only military presence in Benghazi is confined to the Command Centre Complex in the city. The rest of the city is liberated,' he said yesterday.
'Thousands and thousands of people have gathered in front of Benghazi's court house ... All the revolutionary committee (local government) offices and police stations in the city have been burned,' he said.
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