Libya protests men climbing 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Violence in Libya escalated Monday as thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in Tripoli. Eyewitness reports said that protesters had torched public buildings in the capital overnight.
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One of the buildings that was set on fire was the General People's Congress, or parliament, which meets when it is in session in the capital.
Demonstrators have reportedly taken control of much of the eastern city of Benghazi, but hospitals are struggling to cope with the number of casualties, with reports from medical officials suggesting the death toll has reached 200.
Also on Monday, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa 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.
said protesters and security forces battled for
control of Tripoli's city center overnight, with snipers opening fire
and Moammar Gadhafi supporters shooting from speeding vehicles.
witnesses said protesters Sunday night moved into Tripoli's central
Green Square and nearby squares. Plainclothes security forces and
militiamen attacked in clashes that lasted until dawn.
witness said snipers opened fire from rooftops, while two others said
gunmen in vehicles with photos of Gadhafi sped through, opening fire and
running people over. The witnesses reported seeing casualties, but the
number could not be confirmed.EU ministers set to condemn violence
European Union foreign ministers were expected to condemn the violence used by security forces
against anti-government protesters in Libya, according to the draft of a
joint statement to be agreed at their meeting later on Monday, Reuters
A draft statement made available to the news agency
read: "The Council condemns the ongoing repression against peaceful
demonstrators in Libya and deplores the violence and the death of
"Freedom of expression and the right to assemble peacefully are
fundamental rights of every human being which must be respected and
protected," the statement continued.
The minister said they
will prepare for the evacuation of Europeans from Libya, with several
ministers also expressing concerns about a possible massive increase in
the flow of illegal migrants from North Africa in the wake of the
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called for a
"Marshall Plan" for affected Mediterranean countries to stimulate their
economies and provide job opportunities for young people.
report on Monday suggested that a senior Libyan military official has
been put under house arrest under the direct order of the ruler Moammar
According to the report by London based paper Arabic language paper Al-Sharq
, the senior army man was put under house arrest after he refused to obey an order to beat demonstrators.