‘Anti-government protests take control of eastern Libyan city of Benghazi’

February 21st, 2011 - 8:55 pm ICT by BNO News  

BENGHAZI, LIBYA (BNO NEWS) — Anti-government protesters in Libya have taken over control of the eastern city of Benghazi, the German Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) news agency reported on Monday.

Mohamed Saber, a colonel who according to some reports has resigned from the country’s armed forces, told DPA that Benghazi is now calm after demonstrators took over. “The city is calm after protesters took control of it. We now have popular committees to protect the city,” Saber told DPA.

Benghazi has been one of the scenes of massive anti-government protests in Libya, but the flow of information is low as access to the Internet and mobile phone networks has been restricted. Foreign journalists and human rights monitors are barred from entering the country.

According to the most recent estimates by Human Rights Watch, at least 233 people have died in four days of protests in cities across Libya. But the actual figures are believed to be much higher. Al Jazeera reported that at least 300 people died in Benghazi alone over the past five days.

“I, along with all my colleagues, am standing with our people,” Saber was cited as saying as he called on the international community to save the people, and provide the city with medical supplies.

Parts of the Arab world in North Africa have been thrown into chaos amid massive widespread protests against their governments, resulting in revolutions in Tunisia and most recently Egypt. A combined total of nearly 1,000 people have been killed in protests in a number of countries.

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