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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Libya update

Some updates, mostly from Al Jazeera:

A number of cities seem to be in the hands of the people, including Kufra, Benghazi, Derna and Tobruk. News organizations are getting into those cities and broadcasting anti-government rallies.

Gaddafi's TV claimed that Derna was taken over by Al Qaeda, a cliam that the residents ridiculed.

Tripoli is still a Gaddafi stronghold, with horrific stories about killings there, and even plain clothed men with swords in the streets.

Many nations are trying to evacuate their citizens from Libya. Turkey has some 25,000 nationals there.

A flight that was reportedly carrying Gaddafi's daughter was refused by Malta. Similarly, a private Libyan jet that was prevented from landing at Beirut's airport reportedly held the wife of one of Gaddafi's sons.

The number of dead has passed 640, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

There are reports that a Libyan airforce crew bailed out and crashed a plane rather than bomb civilians.

Hundreds of Libyans are fleeing on foot to Egypt and Tunisia.

The London Times says it has gruesome footage of people injured and killed in Libya that proves that heavy weapons were used, such as helicopter gunships or mortars.

A former Libyan justice minister told Aftenposten that Gaddafi had personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.

Italy is afraid that some 300,000 Libyans might flee to Europe if Gaddafi falls.

A video showing mass burials in Tripoli has been released.

Libya's former interior minister has joined the uprising, and he claims that one of Gaddafi's aides had already tried to kill him, unsuccessfully. He predicted Gaddafi would commit suicide. Not sure how believable he is - because he might be blamed for some of the violence, and he might be trying to save his skin.

Netanyahu is allowing 300 Libyan Palestinians to go to the PA.