The Day in Demonstrations: Libyan War Machines

The dawning of a new week sees Muammar el-Gaddafi double down on his commitment to murdering his own citizens.

Government buildings continued to burn Monday in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, following “major” riots overnight. Libya’s response has been to unleash their war machines as helicopters and warplanes besieged parts of the city and fired on protesters. Other witness reports are claiming bands of Miltiamen, many of whom sound like our African mercenariness we heard about yesterday, are tooling around the city in pickups shooting at groups of protesters. Tripoli seems to be in complete chaos right now; security forces have retreated to defensive positions inside government buildings, there are many fires burning in the street and there are shortages of bread and gas.  Rebels ( I guess you graduate from protester to rebel after you seize control of a city)  in Benghazi, the second-largest city, maintained their control over the area and have issued a list of demands calling for a secular interim government led by the army in cooperation with a council of Libyan tribes [NYT].

Photo apparently taken today in Benghazi

The rioting and clashing with security forces going on in Tripoli sprung up rather suddenly and seems to have been inspired by Gaddafi’s son’s television address last night. Here’s some video of the speech via Al-Jazeera:

He seems to take after his father when it comes to speeches; most people are agreeing that the speech was rambling, incoherent and offered little admission of guilt or compromise.

And where is Gaddafi Sr. amongst all this? Apparently he might be in Venezuela [Guardian].

The death toll may be as high as 400 now, according to statements made by Libyan rights groups. This is being decribed as the bloodiest crack-down in the history Gaddafi’s rule and his regime seems to be genuinely on the brink of collapse now; the demonstrators seem very determined now. However, with Libyan authorities framing the state violence as routing out “terrorist nests” it would seem that Gaddafi is prepared for a long and protracted armed conflict. Many people within the government are resigning with at least seven international ambassadors leaving their posts, including the ambassador to the US [Guardian].

Elsewhere, five people perished in a building that was set alight during riots in Morocco [VOA]; demonstrators continue to occupy Pearl Square, their numbers being bolstered by the thousands since Saturday. Some other Arab kingdoms convened talks with Bahraini rulers to pressure them to get a lid on this thing before it spreads to their own kingdoms [Canadian Press]; tens of thousands of anti-government protesters continue to march in Yemen, demanding the resignation of their president, whom has vowed to resist an ousting:


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