From Libya: More Reports Of Protests, Clashes And Deaths
The "Day of Rage" called for by Libyans hoping to topple the regime of Moammar Gadhafi continues. Because there are not a great number of reporters in that country now it's hard to get a solid window into what's happening, but we do want to pass along some of the latest reports:
-- "Clashes broke out in several towns," Reuters says. "In the capital of the oil exporting country there was no sign of any demonstrations, a Reuters reporter said, apart from the pro-Gadafi demonstrators in the city's Green Square chanting 'We are defending Gaddafi!' and waving his portrait.
"A resident of the eastern town of Al Bayda told Reuters 15 people were hurt in a confrontation between government supporters and relatives of two men killed during a protest a day earlier. Fighting broke out soon after the two were buried."
-- "On Thursday, according to news reports from Tripoli, traffic moved freely on Omar al-Mokhtar street, the capital's main thoroughfare, banks and shops were open and there was no increased security presence," The New York Times writes. "But Mohammad Ali Abdellah, the deputy leader of an exiled opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, said in a telephone interview from London that roads leading to Tripoli's central Green Square had been closed off and people living nearby had been warned in text messages from the authorities not to join any protests.
"In Al Beyda, he said, hospital authorities had appealed for any international help to cope with an influx of around 30 or 40 people with gunshot wounds after security forces opened fire on protests that erupted on Wednesday night and continued into early Thursday.
"His account could not be immediately verified."
-- "Unconfirmed reports said 15 people in all had now died in the unrest," says The Guardian. "Clashes were reported for a second day between supporters of ... Gadhafi and the relatives of two young men killed during a protest in al-Bayda on Wednesday, when unrest also erupted in Benghazi, Libya's second city and opposition stronghold."
-- "Gathering information and verifying it here is often a difficult task," the BBC's Rana Jawad reports from Tripoli. "In times of heightened security, it has proven to be almost impossible. Since the initial protest broke out in Libya's second largest city of Benghazi, the most you'll get from trusted contacts there is a phone conversation that is abruptly cut short with a courteous: 'Everything's fine thanks, talk to you later.' "
NPR's Andy Carvin (@acarvin) continues to follow what's being posted on Twitter about events in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and other countries being rocked by protests. As he notes, much of what's being reported about Libya is unconfirmed. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.