Libya protesters holding bulllets 311.
(photo credit: AP)
— British Prime Minister David Cameron, visiting neighboring Egypt,
called the Libyan government's crackdown on protesters "appalling."
can see what is happening in Libya which is completely appalling and
unacceptable as the regime is using the most vicious forms of repression
against people who want to see that country — which is one of the most
closed and one of the most autocratic — make progress. The response they
have shown has been quite appalling," he told reporters in Cairo.
EU foreign ministers set to condemn Libya repression
Opinion: Shattering illusions of tranquility
Libya: Gadhafi's son warns protests may lead to civil war
'Libyan soldiers defect to protesters’ side in Benghazi'
comments came as Libyan protesters celebrated in the streets of
Benghazi on Monday, claiming control of the country's second largest
city after bloody fighting, and anti-government unrest spread to the
capital with clashes in Tripoli's main square for the first time.
Moammar Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, vowed that his father and
security forces would fight "until the last bullet."
League Secretary-General Amr Moussa on Monday called for an end to
violence in Libya saying the demands of Arab people for change are
legitimate, Reuters reported.
"The demands of the Arab peoples for reform, development and change are
legitimate and ... the feelings of all the (Arab) nations are joined in
this decisive moment in history," MENA cited Moussa as saying.
daybreak Monday, smoke was rising from two sites in Tripoli where a
police station and a security forces bases are located, said Rehab, a
lawyer watching from the roof of her home.
The city on Monday was
shut down and streets empty, with schools, government offices and most
shops closed except a few bakeries serving residents hunkered down in
their houses, she said, speaking on condition she be identified only by
her first name.
The protests and violence were the heaviest yet
in the capital of 2 million people, a sign of how unrest was spreading
after six days of demonstrations in eastern cities demanding the end of
the elder Gadhafi's rule.
Gadhafi's regime has unleashed the bloodiest crackdown of any Arab
country against the wave of protests sweeping the region, which toppled
the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia. More than 200 have been killed in
Libya, according to medical officials, human rights groups and exiled
Seif al-Islam Gadhafi warned of civil war in Libya if protests continue,
a theme continued Monday on Libyan state TV, where a pro-regime
commentator spoke of chaos and "rivers of blood" turning Libya into
"another Somalia" if security is not restored.
The Arab world's longest ruling leader in power for nearly 42 years,
Moammar Gadhafi has held an unquestioned grip over the highly
decentralized system of government he created, called the "Jamahiriya,"
or "rule by masses."
The spiraling turmoil in Libya, an OPEC country that is a significant
oil supplier to Europe, was raising international alarm. Oil prices
jumped $1.67 to nearly $88 a barrel Monday amid investor concern.
Two leading oil companies, Statoil and BP, said they were pulling some
employees out of Libya or preparing to do so. Portugal sent plane to
pick up its citizens and other EU nationals and Turkey sent two ferries
to pick up construction workers stranded in the unrest-hit country. EU
foreign ministers were discussing on Monday the possible evacuation of
European citizens. Mobs attacked South Korean, Turkish and Serbian
construction workers at various sites around the country, officials from
each country said.
In Libya, the Internet has been largely shut down, residents can no
longer make international calls from land lines and journalists cannot
work freely, but eyewitness reports trickling out of the country
suggested that protesters were fighting back more forcefully. Most
witnesses and residents spoke on condition they be indentified by first
name only or not at all, out of fear of retaliation.
In Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, protesters were in control of
the streets Monday and swarmed over the main security headquarters,
looting weapons, after bloody clashes Sunday that killed at least 60
people, according to a doctor at the main hospital.