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At least 24 dead in Libyan protests

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At least 24 dead in Libyan protests


Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi remains defiant in the face of large scale anti-government protests.

In Tripoli, thousands of loyalists came out in support of the man who has ruled Libya for more than 40 years.

For the moment, most of the violent unrest appears confined to the east of the country. But, even in the capital, Gaddafi’s stronghold, film footage showed pockets of opposition, sparked by demands for greater political freedom and human rights.

Libya’s second city Benghazi saw some of the worst clashes between protesters and authorities, and a high security presence has been reported there.

Although some sources claim the figure is much higher, Human Rights Watch says at least 24 people were killed in yesterday’s crackdown by security forces. They are said to have used guns on the protesters.

The nearby town of Al Bayda also saw violence and dozens of reported injuries, although media restrictions have made it hard to verify the number of casualties.

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