SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The World

February 25, 2011

Gadhafi militia open fire on Libya protesters

BENGHAZI, Libya — Militias loyal to Moammar Gadhafi opened fire Friday on protesters streaming out of mosques and marching across the Libyan capital to demand the regime's ouster, witnesses said, reporting at least four killed. In rebellious cities in the east, tens of thousands held rallies in support of the first Tripoli protests in days.

In the capital's Souq al-Jomaa district, protesters came under fire from gunmen on rooftops as they tried to march to Tripoli's central Green Square, several miles (kilometers) away. "There are all kind of bullets," said one man in the crowd, screaming in a telephone call to The Associated Press, with the rattle of gunfire audible in the background.

One witness reported seeing three protesters killed in Souq al-Jomaa, and another reported a fourth death in the district of Fashloum, where another rally was trying to march to the center. The reports could not be immediately confirmed.

Gunmen opened a hail of bullets on thousands heading toward the center from Tajoura, a crowded impoverished district on the eastern side of the capital, a participant said.

"We can't see where it is coming from," he said. "They don't want to stop." He said one man next to him was shot in the neck. Others reported gunfire near Green Square itself where dozens of militiamen opened fire in the air to disperse protesters coming out of a nearby mosque. Other armed Gadhafi supporters were speeding through streets in vehicles, said another witness.

The call for regime opponents to march from mosques after prayers was the first attempt to hold a major anti-Gadhafi rally in the capital since early this week, when militiamen launched a bloody crackdown on protesters that left dozens dead. In the morning and night before, SMS messages were sent around urging, "Let us make this Friday the Friday of liberation," residents said. The residents and witnesses all spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The World

AP Video
Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Today in History August 20 US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Today in History August 19 Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women' Kurdish Peshmergas Retake Mosul Dam WikiLeaks Founder Says He'll Leave Embassy Soon Raw: Israel Destroys Killing Suspects' Homes
NDN Video
Are Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Breaking Up? Motorcyclist Sticks Landing This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron