BASIC DATA (FROM BBC)
* Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has led since 1969
* Population 6.5m; land area 1.77m sq km
* Population with median age of 24.2, and a literacy rate of 88%
* Gross national income per head: $12,020 (World Bank 2009)
Latest reports indicate a state of civil war in the cities of Benghazi (1000 kms from Tripoli) and nearby al-Bayda in Eastern Libya with the protesters running into thousands and the Libyan army fighting each other with no holds barred. Despite the use of mortars and heavy guns by the Libyan Army, which has allegedly been using mercenaries from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chad, the protesters, who are also allegedly aided by mercenaries from Egypt and other countries, have managed to overrun the local Brigade headquarters and capture large quantities of arms and ammunition with which they are fighting. Some reports, not yet confirmed, say that the armed opponents of Col.MuammarGaddafi and the Arab mercenaries supporting them have managed to push out of these cities the Libyan army units deployed there and the mercenaries being used by them. Over a hundred persons are reported to have been killed in the fighting so far. There have been no reports of any major incidents in Tripoli, the capital.
2. The Libyan authorities have alleged that Tunisian, Egyptian, Sudanese, Palestinian, Syrian and Turkish mercenaries have entered the country to fight on the side of the protesters. They have claimed to have arrested dozens of them. The official Jana news agency has said that those detained in several Libyan cities were members of a "foreign network (and were) trained to damage Libya's stability, the safety of its citizens and national unity." It has hinted that Israel is behind the unrest. It said: "The people arrested have been charged with inciting acts of looting and sabotage, such as burning hospitals, banks, courts, prisons, police stations and offices of the military police, as well as public buildings and private properties, according to plans drawn up earlier. Certain Libyan cities have been the scene of acts of sabotage and destruction since Tuesday. Sources close to the investigation have not ruled out Israel being behind the network."
3.The protesters have destroyed a radio station in Benghazi. There have been large-scale jail breaks. There's a Facebook video of a captured mercenary from Chad http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1036972563772 .The mercenaries have been allegedly offered between $12,000 - $30,000 each. Some of the latest Tweets originated by an organization called the “Democratic Underground” are given below:
FORGET PEACE! LIBYA IS A COMPLETE WAR ZONE NOW.
This is exactly what I have been afraid of hearing. Where the fuck is the US, the UN, or any other ?
Come morning we'll learn just how much that oil is worth.
And then they'll escalate from concern to condemnation.
When world leaders respond decisively, it stops
"I'm not afraid to die, I'm afraid of losing the battle"
Youtube channel albayda2011 has selection of footage including shooting with automatic weapons.
Intl banks who hold Libya accounts, do the right thing and FREEZE these accounts.
Security forces in Al Bayda, Darna and Ajdabiya have joined protesters, strong tribal ties
There are bodies everywhere I've read.
Martyrs at Benghazi reached 500 and they will stay in the streets: no room
Chilling, but possibly the only thing better than them being
Special forces are executing doctors.
Tripoli "boiling like a cooking pot'
Women+children leapt from bridges to their deaths trying to escape Gaddafi thugs
This appears to be headed to be a complete genocide.
Do you remember what BP was allowed to do here? Libya is BP land now
Rwanda moment in Libya. This calls for international intervention now.
No electricity, water or medical supplies. Hundreds have been wounded by machine guns. We need aid.
in Darna- largest armory in the hands of the people. includes tanks
PLEASE DONATE TO DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND!
To the World, Gaddfi is using oil money paid by you, to pay mercenaries to kill his own people
No news or updates from inside Libya broadcast during the past hour.
SMS sent 2 mobile phones ‘We will hit w/iron fist all oppose (Qaddafi's) revolution’.
Egyptian brother and sisters smuggling sim cards into libya. Thank you Egypt
Youtube removing videos
Reports of a C130 sent from Austria with arms for Libya via Malta. Please write to Austrian Chancellor
UK based group aiming to set up a mobile medical centre for Libya
My advice: Talk to Benghazi contacts! LET BENGHAZI SOLDIERS TALK TO ALL LIBYA SOLDIERS OVER RADIO!
United Nations consider deploying peace keepers in Benghazi to prevent protestors from being shot
I misread that... thought they WERE deploying peacekeepers.
When the people grab the oil fields, watch how fast the UN will move in
Egyptians in Cairo are collecting medical supplies, a heart warming gesture in these dark moments
Protesters destroying Gov’t Property but…
Gaddafi is a psychopath, criminal & gutter snipe. And the governments that watch this murder in silence ..... (20-2-11)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-Mail: email@example.com )