Friday, March 4, 2011

Lybia Soldiers Open Fire On Peaceful Protestors

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- "Indescribable" and deadly violence rippled through the Libyan city of Zawiya on Friday, according to a witness who said pro-government forces gunned down peaceful protesters.

The eyewitness said battalions of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked the protesters with mortars and machine guns as they were demonstrating in the city's Martyrs Square, and they assaulted an ambulance and killed people who fell wounded.

"Civilians were killed but we can not say how many. We buried nine people so far," the witness said. "The attack was indescribable. Direct gunfire was opened on people."

It is unclear who has control of the city.

People in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, and "their public leadership have secured and took control over the city from the 'armed terrorist elements,'" state TV reported. Libyan government spokesman Majid al- Dursi told CNN that "Zawiya has been captured, Zawiya has been liberated."

However, the eyewitness said protesters have some control inside the city, even though security forces have been surrounding Zawiya.

At least 15 people died and 200 others were injured in the city, according to one doctor, who said "there is a river of blood" at the hospital where the wounded are being treated. He said "the situation is very bad," with the facility running out of medical supplies.

It is not clear if the casualties stem from the Martyrs Square confrontation. The doctor said wounded people started arriving at the hospital Friday morning, and most of the wounds are from gunshots.

This is the latest of several confrontations that have convulsed the oil-rich North African nation and sparked an exodus of refugees.

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