17 February 2011
Libyan protesters seeking to oust longtime leader Muammar al-Gaddafi defied a crackdown and took to the streets in four cities on Thursday on what activists have dubbed a day of rage. Media reported that at least 14 demonstrators were killed in clashes with pro-government forces. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said Libyan authorities had also detained 14 activists, writers and protesters who had been preparing the anti-government protests. The group called on the regime in Libya to free everyone detained for their role in anti-government protests.
The opposition website 'Libya Al-Youm' said four protesters were killed by snipers from the Internal Security Forces in the city of Beyida. The website also said there was a demonstration in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city. Switzerland-based activist Fathi al-Warfali said 11 protesters were killed in Beyida on Wednesday night, and scores were wounded. Al-Warfali, head of the Libyan Committee for Truth and Justice, said two more people were killed in another city, Zentana, on Thursday while one protester was killed in Rijban, a town about 120 kilometers southwest of the capital Tripoli.
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