Libya Rebels: Over 8,000 Killed in Revolt

Claim Is Highest Toll Yet for Civil War

Speaking to al-Jazeera on Sunday, Libyan rebel spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga reported that upward of 8,000 Libyans had been killed in the civil war between the burgeoning protest-rebel movement and the Gadhafi regime.

The claim is the highest toll yet reported for the conflict, but is entirely possible given that doctors estimated 2,000 killed in Benghazi alone during the initial violence. It is unclear, however, how reliable the current information the rebels have on the western tolls is, as those cities were lost in fighting over the past weeks.

The deaths from the internal fighting appear to have ground to a virtual halt since Saturday, when Western nations attacked Libya. In the day and a half since then, reports from the ground suggest that at least 64 people have been killed in the campaign, as large numbers of missiles have been fired into Libyan territory.

It is unclear at this point what percentage of the casualties in either toll represents civilians and how many are combatants. With the campaign transitioning into air strikes, the toll, particularly among civilians, seems bound to grow going forward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.