Gaddafi Regime Massacres More Than 100 Protesters
Eccentric Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has deployed sharpshooter snipers, sword-wielding mercenaries, tanks and helicopter gunships to slaughter more than 100 protesters, including mourners, in a brutal effort to crush an uprising. More than 200 have been killed, according to some estimates.
Britain responded by banning exports of arms to Libya, as well as Bahrain.
Up to one-third of Libyans, particularly outside of Tripoli, suffer from poverty in the oil-rich police state.
"Dozens were killed ... We are in the midst of a massacre here," a witness told Reuters. An anti-aircraft missile and machine gunfire killed at least 15 mourners as they left a funeral for protesters on Saturday.
One report quoted a hospital spokesperson as saying that many of the dead and injured are relatives of doctors.
More than 80 demonstrators were murdered on Friday, and the death toll is expected to rise as tens of thousands of Muslims continue to protest the 42-year rule of Gaddafi, which shut down Internet lines to prevent coordination among opponents.
"They fired tear gas on protesters in tents and cleared the areas after many fled carrying the dead and the injured," one protester told the London Telegraph after Libyan forces staged a dawn attack on Saturday against demonstrators who included lawyers and judges.
A pro-government newspaper charged that foreign media are exaggerating the violence and that Gaddafi enjoys support from people against “traitors of the West.”
One cleric told the Telegraph, "I saw with my own eyes a tank crushing two people in a car.”
Mercenaries are helping Libyan soldiers, several of whom were captured and lynched by rioters.
Briatn announced Sunday it is is suspending all exports of arms and anti-riot materials, including tear gas, to Libya as well as Bahrain, where protesters are threatening the government.
"The longstanding British position is clear: we will not issue licences where we judge there is a clear risk that the proposed export might provoke or prolong regional or internal conflicts, or which might be used to facilitate internal repression," Alistair Burt, the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, said.