Monday, February 21, 2011

Lybia In Chaos: Fighter Jets Attack Protestors In Tripoli

Military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Tripoli, Al-Jazeera television reported Monday.

A Libyan man, Soula al-Balaazi, who said he was an opposition activist, told the network by telephone that Libyan air force warplanes had bombed "some locations in Tripoli."

He said he was talking from a suburb of Tripoli. No independent verification of the report was immediately available.

The report came as protesters celebrated in the streets of the country's second largest city Benghazi, claiming they were now in control after days of bloody fighting and after anti-government unrest spread to Tripoli, the capital, for the first time Sunday.

Human Rights Watch said Monday that at least 233 people had been killed since the protests began last week, but opposition groups put the figure much higher. Most were in Benghazi, a region where Gadhafi's grip has always been weaker than elsewhere in the oil-producing desert nation.

Gadhafi's son vowed Sunday that his father and security forces would fight "until the last bullet."

An analyst for London-based consultancy Control Risks said the use of military aircraft on his own people indicated the end was approaching for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"These really seem to be last, desperate acts. If you're bombing your own capital, it's really hard to see how you can survive, " said Julien Barnes-Dacey, Control Risks' Middle East analyst.

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