Protesters hit by hail of gunfire in Libya march

Posted: February 25, 2011 in World News

PAUL SCHEMM and BASSEM MROUE
Associated Press
February 25, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya – Militias loyal to Moammar Gadhafi opened fire Friday on protesters streaming out of mosques and marching across the Libyan capital to demand the regime’s ouster, witnesses said, reporting multiple deaths. In rebellious cities in the east, tens of thousands held rallies in support of the first Tripoli protests in days.

Protesters described coming under a hail of bullets as they tried to march from several districts around the city toward Tripoli’s central Green Square. One man among a crowd of thousands said gunmen on rooftops and in the streets opened fire with automatic weapons and even an anti-aircraft gun.

“In the first wave of fire, seven people within 10 meters (yards) of me were killed. Many people were shot in the head,” the man, who was marching from Tripoli’s eastern Tajoura district, told The Associated Press. “It was really like we are dogs.”

“We can’t see where it is coming from,” another protester from Tajoura said of the gunfire. “They don’t want to stop.” He said a man next to him was shot in the neck.

Militiamen opened fire on other marches in the nearby Souq al-Jomaa and Fashloum districts, where witnesses reported four killed. The reports could not be immediately confirmed.

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