In Libya, Unrest Grows as Government Forces Fire on Mourners
Protests in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi’s 40-year regime are continuing, despite government forces on Sunday reportedly firing upon funeral processions of those who have died in anti-government demonstrations.
According to media accounts, the security forces fired on residents attending a funeral procession in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, where most of the protests are taking place.
A doctor in Benghazi said at least 200 people have died in six days of unrest and his hospital is running out of supplies to treat the wounded, reported the Associated Press.
The death toll is difficult to confirm, and foreign journalists in general are having trouble getting into Libya to report.
Updated 3:15 p.m. ET: The U.S. State Department issued a statement Sunday afternoon expressing grave concern over the events in Egypt and the lack of access for international media and human rights organizations.
Libya’s official news agency reported Saturday that authorities have arrested “dozens of foreign elements trained to strike at Libya’s stability and security” and are investigating the unrest, not ruling out what it called a possible Israeli plot to destabilize countries in the region, according to the AP.
Meanwhile, pro-government demonstrators are rallying in the capital Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)
Al Jazeera has been live-blogging events in Libya and compiling information from news services and witnesses.
It was a different tone in Bahrain, where after nearly a week’s worth of protests opposition groups reportedly were meeting with each other ahead of possible talks with the government.
The military, which at first cracked down on protesters — forcibly removing them from Pearl Square in the capital Manama, withdrew earlier this weekend and allowed the demonstrators to congregate again.
Seven opposition parties planned to meet Sunday to coordinate their demands of the ruling al-Khalifa family, the Wall Street Journal reported. Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa for a second time invited the opposition to engage in a dialogue with the government.
The BBC offers this clickable map of countries in North Africa and the Middle East, where protests have spread following the ousters of Tunisia’s and Egypt’s presidents.