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Libya lashes out at demonstrators

Essam Mohamed in Tripoli contributed to this report for Magharebia – 23/02/11

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Tripoli was again pounded by air raids on Tuesday night (February 22nd). The sound of gunfire resounded through the Libyan capital, armed mercenaries prowled the streets, and fires raged at police stations, the justice ministry at al-Shuhadaa Square, the People's Committee Hall and the Shaabia headquarters.

In a televised speech earlier in the day, Moamer Kadhafi said he would fight on and die a "martyr".

"Moamer Kadhafi is the leader of the revolution, I am not a president to step down ... This is my country. Moamer is not a president to leave his post. I have not yet ordered the use of force, not yet ordered one bullet to be fired ... when I do, everything will burn," he continued, calling on his supporters to take to the streets and attack protesters.

Tripoli streets were oddly absent of pictures of Kadhafi. They had been torn town and burned by demonstrators or else covered with graffiti denouncing him and his sons.

Before evening, gas stations ran out of benzene and oil derivatives. Bakeries and food shops were packed with people desperate to stock up on available supplies. Magharebia observed large trucks removing goods from some stores.

Many Libyans fasted for God to deliver them from the calamity.

But the outside world is still unable to see the full extent of the crisis. Both Libyan and foreign journalists reportedly cannot send out information because the regime's communications blackout has crippled internet access and blocked social networking websites Facebook and Twitter.

Kadhafi's son Mohammed is the chairman of the telecommunications company in Libya. And the control of telecommunications has created another issue besides getting news out of Libya; citizens must also contend with unsolicited text messages.

The first anonymous SMS said: "To all those who may be seduced to touch any of the four red lines, which include Kadhafi, Islam and the Jamahiriya system." Another message read: "We congratulate the well-informed young people who understood that fitna means destruction of their families, city and country."

To this same end, a third SMS used a Qur'anic phrase: "Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together and do not be divided."

There was a special message for Benghazi: "People and youth of Benghazi, those who died, whether civilians or policemen, are all citizens of Libya. We've had enough. Therefore, let's spare blood."

On Wednesday morning, Libyans received new messages from carriers Al Madar and Libyana. One such message promised money for forwarding a pro-Kadhafi message: "Send it to 10 people and you will get 100 dinars."

Another text message Wednesday said, "The Popular Council asks all citizens in both private and public sectors to go back to their usual business starting today."

Citizens in Tripoli, however, asked where the council was working, since its building was burned and Libyans "have not seen any of its members since the start of this revolution".

Al-Jamahiriya and al-Shababiya television channels also began broadcasting messages claiming that Libya's "enemies are now conspiring against its unity and stability". Another TV message said, "Dear citizens, compare how a few days ago you were enjoying security, stability and good, and look what they have spread around you in terms of sabotage, killing and conspiracy. Therefore, make up your mind and beware their plots."

Libyan officials continued to announce resignations. Following Kadhafi's speech, Interior Minister Abdul-Fatah Younis resigned and voiced support to the uprising, which he described as the "February 17th revolution". According to Aljazeera, a video statement by Younis urged the army to join the people and their "legitimate demands".

Also Tuesday, the UN Security Council issued a statement calling "for an immediate end to the violence and for steps to address the legitimate concerns of the population". UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also called for "an independent international investigation" into the crackdown.

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  1. Anonymous thumb

    E Z 2011-12-12

    Now, praise be to God, truth has emerged and the wrong has vanquished. Now you know the intentions of the tyrant and his cohorts against the great Libyan people. Remembering and glorifying God have saved us from their evil. Now we have to begin afresh to build the independent Libyan state and open a new page full of tolerance. No and a thousand no, no, no, no, no to revenge, hostility and grudge!


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-10-6

    O Arabs, won’t your consciences wake up while the Libyan people are killed in thousands by NATO and agents of NATO? Libya means Libya is dying! O Lord what a stupid mind! God suffices me and He is the best mandate!


  3. Anonymous thumb

    حاتم ابن العقيد 2011-10-6

    I am Hatim from Libya. This revolution is the revolution of NATO and not of the people. All the people want Moamer the colonel, o rats of NATO!


  4. Anonymous thumb

    mohamed 2011-6-20

    I have not found the Libyan channel El-Jamahiria for two days. There has been no signal.


  5. Anonymous thumb

    عمر 2011-5-16

    We ask God to guide Arabs and Muslims, unite them, God willing, and grant them victory over the oppressive people!


  6. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-3-4

    I am your brother from Algeria. I wish victory to my brothers in Libya. Wish you success!


  7. Anonymous thumb

    Essid 2011-3-4

    It is remarkable that even when he is faced with throngs of revolutionaries, the vile dictator Kadhafi would still devote his henchmen to the mundane task of trying to convince people of the unbelievable. I count at least seven people in this forum who – and I have no guilt in making this assessment – are paid propagandists in the service of Kadhafi. There is no way that anyone living in Tripoli could honestly deny what is written in this article. And there is only one motivation for those who are dishonest enough to lie about the condition of the country: they are in the paid service of the dictator. If you go check out the local forums, the Facebook pages, YouTube, etc., you will see countless stories, articles and videos of the atrocities being committed against the people of Libya. And yet, some people continue to go online on forums and spread what everyone knows is lies. This is just further proof that Kadhafi is insane. The international community has all the evidence it needs of Kadhafi’s crimes against humanity in the form of videos and photographs taken in Libya. The people of Libya have all the evidence they need of Kadhafi’s vileness and contempt for humanity because they have lived for 41 years under his tyranny. So, who is going to believe this nonsense? These propagandists would do better stop taking orders from Kadhafi and start thinking about the consequences of their actions once Kadhafi is toppled. What do these propagandists think that the people will do to accomplices to such atrocities? Are a lifetime term in prison or the death sentence worth paid sycophancy for a vampire?


  8. Anonymous thumb

    بنت بنغازى 2011-3-3

    Salam alikum. We say to everyone who loves Moamer, you’re not Libyan. This tyrant has killed your brothers in the eastern region. I bear witness to such events in Benghazi. He brought mercenaries and killed our sons. He is a slaughterer! Aren’t we your brothers? Why are you still showing him love? I would like to say that what is transmitted in news is true. Anyone who says the opposite was bought by Moamer for 500 Libyan dinars.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-3-2

    To “Libya”- When I read this series of pitiful and meaningless slogans (e.g., “Dear Libya”, “Toubruk”, “The Great El Fateh”, etc.), I realised the magnitude of Kadhafi’s crimes. The brainwashing that he subjected the Libyan people to for 42 years did have some success. Beside the courageous Libyans who preserved their character and have risen up against the bloodthirsty tyrant, there exists also another category of Libyans: the victims of the media disinformation under Tripoli’s brutish regime. I can only pity them.


  10. Anonymous thumb

    محمد البرعصى 2011-3-1

    Four died in Ajdabia, hundreds in Benghazi and Al Baida. Just go to Facebook and you will see pictures of missing people. This means that they take away people and kill so that their families won’t bury them. What about you? Where do you live? By God you must be some of the people they bought with 500 dinars? The two pilots who fled to Malta and pilots of Ajdabia who refused to raid the people, they dropped down a plane and pilots in Musrata are all additional evidence. God suffices me and He is the best mandate against you and your Kadhafi.


  11. Anonymous thumb

    موها الحلوه 2011-3-1

    I am one of the residents in Tripoli. By God all these are lies and rumours about Libya. We have a good life, praise be to God. Just tell me one Libyan who doesn’t have a house. We are all Libyans and know each other. Shame on you to say lies about the brother leader! Finally, he is responsible for us. We must listen to obey him in what he says. That would be better than see Libya become like Iraq. Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Al Hurra are lying. They want to wage a psychological war against us.


  12. Anonymous thumb

    ليبيا 2011-3-1

    A reply to a free Libyan, a resident from Benghazi. I think those who said this about you were right: Cheraga used to eat rice. Now they are saturated. Believe me the leader won’t stay in power eternally. Even if this was the end of his era, God forbids, it won’t be triggered by you people of the east. It is the will and action of God. My words are confirmed by the fact that you have been present for 42 years and you did nothing.


  13. Anonymous thumb

    طرابلسي 2011-2-28

    It is true that Kadhafi has robbed the Libyans of all their wealth, repressed them for years, but it is our duty as Libyans to be one hand, yes one hand. I personally want him to leave but not with blood, they are all sons of my country.


  14. Anonymous thumb

    اعشق ليبيا _محمد كمال 2011-2-28

    Moamer, leader of our revolution, cavalier, Moamer, knight of our Sahara, you have brought us freedom and popular power, this is your country bright in the darkness of night! He expelled the colonizer and protected the people. Ever since Moamer came, he brought all the good.


  15. Anonymous thumb

    ابن برقه 2011-2-28

    Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you. I am a resident in dear Libya from the city of Ajdabia, the militant, liberated from oppression and injustice. Residents of the city of Ajdabia guard the city from outside and inside with heavy and light weapons. We are ready for any confrontation with Kadhafi and his assistants. By the way I am a member of the security forces. I joined the revolution of young people from its beginning on 17/2/2011. We will give more. “O ye who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah. that ye may prosper.. "


  16. Anonymous thumb

    نوال البريكي 2011-2-28

    Oh Lord have mercy on us and protect us from the strife of the age, Al Jazeera channel and the like! At this moment, I'm sitting at my work at the university of education Oubari, University of Sebha in the popular committee of Oued Al Hayat, my cousin phoned me from Tripoli. She told me that she saw breaking news on Al Jazeera channel saying that Ouedi El Hayat and Oued Chati were under raid. How is that possible, Al Jazeera? From where did you get such uninformed and not breaking news?! You have destroyed in order to go up! Your turn will come Qatar of Arabs. And you forums intended to open hearts, we are fed up with you. We visit you in order to forget our concerns, but we found news transmitted by destructive channels. By God, spare us! We love and have concern about our country. Libya is living in peace and security under the revolution of Al Fateh! The means of subsistence are in the hands of God not from presidents! Spare us! Spare us! Our young people are deceived by you. Keep your way with Tunisia and Egypt first. You have ruined them may God ruin your houses! Spare us, spare us! Victory will not come from you, our victory will come from God. God is with us, if God is with you, you will be safe.


  17. Anonymous thumb

    libya 2011-2-28

    All the proud free people of Libya who expelled the colonizer, sons of dear Libya in Tobruk, Benghazi, Derna, Al Baida, Ajdabia, Sirte, Musrata, Zaouiyat, Tripoli and all parts of Libya, people who don’t accept humiliation and shame, treason has no place in their hearts faithful and loyal to their country, who expelled the colonizer and stirred the revolution of the great Al Fateh, given the people power, revolution and arms by himself to rule themselves by themselves .


  18. Anonymous thumb

    ايمان libya 2011-2-28

    I have just one request to all Libyan men and Libyan women who are concerned about their country regardless of their affiliations with or against the regime: don’t be hasty, look around you! It is a real media war which is trying and seeking to shake and ruin your country. O young men, o young women of Libya, are you happy with the situation now? Look at your image today in front of the world, they have made of us a joke! Today, a man among you is crying today, I am sorry to say man, while he is embracing the enemies including Americans, Israelis and foreigners who imposed an embargo on you, endured all hardships from them and you are calling for its rescue!


  19. Anonymous thumb

    ليبي حر 2011-2-27

    I am a resident in the city of Benghazi. The city of Benghazi has experienced a revolution of young people which wasn’t expected by the despot Moamer. We have fought in one of the harshest wars. I wasn’t expecting he would send mercenaries and kill innocent people. Why all this? The dead toll in the city of Benghazi exceeded 1000 martyrs. In spite of all this, he says that Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya are saying lies. Quite the opposite, it is Libyan channels which say lies. He brings a bunch of young people, a few women, film them and their calls for Moamer. Why don’t they go to Benghazi, eastern regions, Tajouraa, Zaouiyat and other parts of Tripoli? This will show you the truth and the infidelity of Kadhafi. He is really a despot.


  20. Anonymous thumb

    تونسي اعيش في ليبيا 2011-2-27

    Salam alikum. I am a resident in Tripoli. Everything said in this piece of news is not true. I hope that reporters respect the profession of the press.


  21. Anonymous thumb

    علي 2011-2-27

    Salam alikum. Praise be to God. Peace be upon the messenger of God. I am a Libyan national and I am proud to be Libyan. Libya is safe when the brother leader Moamer Kadhafi is on the nice land because our leader is manly, valiant and honest. God, Moamer and Libya, that’s all, King of kings, people love you!


  22. Anonymous thumb

    لولي 2011-2-26

    We ask the dear writer to show the reality. Enough falsification and these words to incite young people to disobedience against their ruler! Are you Muslims or what? Enough, Libya is fine since the national leader is fine. We tell you, hello, hello Al Jazeera, Moamar astounded you, find someone else!


  23. Anonymous thumb

    لمياء 2011-2-26

    I just want one thing. I want the departure of the idle colonnel Moamer. I tell him, colonel, enough, you’re still more ardent than your grandfather.


  24. Anonymous thumb

    درناوي 2011-2-26

    Keep on defying them eagle, I support the leader! Wishing you 100 years leader!


  25. Anonymous thumb

    عبدالحميد سالم 2011-2-26

    I ask God the Almighty to stop turmoils and turn plots of oppressors against them. We ask God steadfastness in religion.


  26. Anonymous thumb

    مواطن ليبي من لندن 2011-2-25

    God willing, God will relieve the distress of Libyans, oh Lord!


  27. Anonymous thumb

    Essid 2011-2-25

    “Moamer Kadhafi is the leader of the revolution, I am not a president to step down ... This is my country. Moamer is not a president to leave his post. I have not yet ordered the use of force, not yet ordered one bullet to be fired ... when I do, everything will burn.” That Kadhafi refers to himself in third-person is indicative of his egomania. He no longer thinks of himself as a person, but as an intangible god beyond the purview of human action. Moreover, if he is the leader of the revolution, then why is he not leading this revolution? Instead of being the leader, he is the abomination that is driving this revolution. Kadhafi has ceased to exist in this world. Long ago his words ceased to ring true to the reality of Libyan life. He has imagined a revolution in his mind, in which he was the leader, and his imaginary leadership – he believes – gives him the right to rule like a god. But, you will notice that nowhere in this mentality is there any concern for the people of Libya. Instead of concern, there is only contempt. His only reaction to those who dare challenge his egomaniacal fantasies is to shoot them with warplanes and snipers and bombard them with threats via SMS. He does not understand that the only thing he is doing is crushing his own foundation, i.e., the few people still loyal to him. He is so far gone in his fantasy world that he does not understand that soon most snipers and soldiers will no longer have the heart to shoot people who look like their mothers and father, brothers and sisters. And, then like a god, he will cease to exist when there is no one left to believe in him.


  28. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-2-24

    I sympathise with the journalist who has to write a paper while in Tripoli on the situation in the country, which is still not free of the criminal madman who kidnapped it.


  29. Anonymous thumb

    ليبي 2011-2-24

    My dear citizens, don’t listen to Israeli channels (Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Al Hourra and BBC) because they don’t show reality. It is true there are problems in Libya but they are not in the size shown by these channels which have foreign suspicious agendas. They intend to silence the voice of Moamer Kadhafi who has always been calling for resistance to imperialism and zionism. Their goals are to give a pretext to the west in order to intervene in Libya militarily, control wells of oil and divide Libya into two countries after it is done with the division of Sudan. There is still more to come. Be careful Arab young people, don’t let anyone deceive you and throw you in endless problems.


  30. Anonymous thumb

    الاء 2011-2-24

    Kadhafi is holding on tightly to his place sending anxiety among his people. If they could catch him, they would cook his flesh with broth. The revolution of his people disturbed the tranquility of his mind. The truth has come out and the lies were uncovered. History will record he is a liar and didn’t say the truth.


  31. Anonymous thumb

    محمود فؤاد 2011-2-24

    Salam alikum. I am from Iraq. I think that the wave of revolutions in our countries is the pure arrangement of America. God knows better that I support the change of obsolete worn out regimes. I support the change, although I know they are handled by America protector of Islam and Muslims. I was expecting the first change to come from Sudan. But it seems that El Bashir made his good deal with America about the south. I think that the king of Morocco should hurry up in making a deal with America about southern Sahara, it shouldn’t take pride in sin. Now I understand why the Algerian revolution was delayed. It is because it didn’t agree with Libya about supplying oil to the world. This would have had a serious impact if it happened at the same time even if Libyans, to be honest, didn’t experience hardships and sourness of life like the Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan people. My greetings to a nation who lives by its values, not by its kings and presidents!


  32. Anonymous thumb

    التويجر 2011-2-24

    Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you. The truth is to support the sons of Libya. This media outburst is fighting the Libyan people. It is not fighting Moamer Kadhafi. I am addressing Arabs in all parts of the world, this report is not true in most of its parts. I am a resident in Tripoli. I tell you there are no air raids and no mercenaries. Like you, we watch news channels, lies and falsehood in some news that are transmitted to them. Where is the media credibility if they are all rushing up for breaking news? However, the question is why don’t they show pictures of the supporters of security and stability in dear Libya? Even the speech of the leader, if one understands it, you will go unwillingly to the street to say the truth and call for support and stability. As for free phone offers, I have two phone cards Al Madar and Libyana, I receive free phone offers without sending any SMS. I think that these offers are intended to help us report some vandals who are in reality devastating the country. I love Libya and love my Arab blood. However, I am wondering why some Libyans say nonsense and analyse as they wish. May God protect our country Libya! No one has the right to speak on our behalf. Watch Libyan channels, they are the truth. They are the true image of Libya. The issue now is not an issue of regime. It is the issue of a people who are subject to a media attack. They are shedding our blood without price. God is with us, He will grant us victory against oppressors.


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