In Libya, violent clashes in the cities have sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to the borders of Tunisia and Egypt to escape the fighting. For an inside perspective, we bring you this photo essay by VII Agency photojournalist Franco Pagetti, narrated by Need to Know correspondent Mona Iskander. In it, Pagetti depicts a nation in the midst of a brutal struggle:
For more photos from VII Photo, visit VII Magazine on Need to Know.
“The uprising in Libya is now nearly three weeks old. This week, a violent confrontation broke out in the oil-rich town of Brega on the eastern coast. Here, rebel fighters prepared to battle pro-Gadhafi forces for control of this strategic town. Fourteen were reported dead, and dozens more were wounded.
The weeks of violence have triggered a mass exodus. More than 170,000 people have fled the country across Libya’s borders with Tunisia and Egypt. And thousands more are still trying to escape.
At the eastern port city of Benghazi, foreign workers hope to board a ferry to Greece and then on to their home countries. Some make it on. But for others, no luck.
Workers like these are trapped. They don’t have the money to leave and their governments haven’t come to evacuate them.
Some workers who try to sneak on board are caught and beaten.
For those who are now stranded, makeshift camps have been set up. This one near Benghazi university currently houses about 1,200 people. These men are workers from Darfur. They have no money and no papers. Leaving the country is impossible.
The U.N. has called the situation a “humanitarian emergency,” and is urging the international community to help people return home. Until then, they wait in limbo.”
For more on the uprising in Libya, see our live blog, which includes daily reporting, eyewitness accounts and video from the ground.