Gadhafi Regime Defiant as Over 300 Killed in Libya Crackdown

Pro-Democracy Protests Spread to Capital Amid Growing Fury

Over 300 people have been killed in Libya in just under a week worth of pro-democracy protests as the son of Moammar Gadhafi appealed for the protesters to surrender on state TV, threatening them with civil war and starvation if they refused.

The largest death toll was in the eastern city of Benghazi, where over 230 people were killed. Most of them were slain over the weekend in attacks on funerals for the ones killed early on.

The protesters were not to be scared away, however, and reports say that even more took to the streets after the younger Gadhafi’s threats. Reports say that massive army defections in the east have brought that half of the country entirely out of the regime’s control, and Gadhafi’s speech seemed to support this, as he warned people in East Libya would need a passport now if they wanted to visit Tripoli.

And while Tripoli appeared to be the last bastion of regime control even this seems to be wavering, as multiple demonstrations are said to have broken out there as well. Though Gadhafi, as with Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak before him, says he is determined to fight to the last man, his control seems to be steadily slipping nationwide and many protesters seem to feel it is only a matter of time before the government is ousted entirely.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.