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From Tripoli: With Foreigners Gone, Fear That Gadhafi May 'Really Crack Down'

Members of Libya's anti-Gadhafi internal security forces waved their old national flag as they paraded in the eastern city of Tobruk today (Feb 24, 2011).
AFP/Getty Images
Members of Libya's anti-Gadhafi internal security forces waved their old national flag as they paraded in the eastern city of Tobruk today (Feb 24, 2011).

As the dramatic events in Libya continue, people there are trying to tell the world about what's happening as leader Moammar Gadhafi tries to hold on to power.

On Morning Edition, host Renee Montagne spent about 8 minutes on the phone with a businessman in Tripoli (NPR did not report his name because of concern for his safety). He described scenes of foreign mercenaries patrolling the streets of the Libyan capital, shooting at anyone who dared come outside.

And he expressed this fear: That once other nations have evacuated their citizens from Libya, Gadhafi may "really crack down" — an ominous statement given that Humans Rights Watch says there have already been hundreds of deaths.

Here's the audio of the conversation:

Meanwhile, as Korva wrote earlier, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that anti-Gadhafi protesters — led by a Libyan army general who has joined their cause — are trying to organize for a push on Tripoli:

The latest Associated Press story on the crisis leads with this: "Army units and militiamen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi struck back against rebellious Libyans who have risen up in cities close to the capital Thursday, attacking a mosque where many were holding an anti-government sit-in and battling with others who had seized control of an airport. A doctor at the mosque said 10 people were killed."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.