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Gaddafi's 'mercenaries' responsible for deaths

Embedded among leader's supporters, plainclothes forces launched lethal attack killing 60 people, Opposition leader says

Gulf News

Dubai: The massacre moved on Monday to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, with 60 protesters killed in the Green Square by what Youth Revolutionists said were the mercenaries of Muammar Gaddafi.

Forces in plain clothes shot at the protesters and threw grenades at them resulting in the deaths of at least 60 people and injuring hundreds.

Dr Abdul Rahman Al Swaihili, professor at Tripoli University and opposition leader, said there were around 5,000 people in the square chanting against Gaddafi when mercenaries embedded in Gaddafi supporters' parade launched lethal attacks against the protesters.

"The protesters defended their position in the square and refused to leave in spite of losing more than 500 people who were either killed or injured. They said that they were planning to march to the popular Al Azizieh Camp, where Gaddafi is living.

"The protesters are planning to hand Gaddafi a request to step down and allow the formation of a new democratic Libya," said Dr Al Swaihili.

Juma Al Omami, of the Geneva-Based Human Rights Solidarity, told Gulf News that he feared more casualties if the plan went on.

"In Benghazi we lost many lives because of the parades [Al Fadeel Abu Baker Camp], which is less important from the regime's point of view. I think the forces under Gaddafi will kill anyone who might come close to the camp. The time is not ripe for such a move. We don't want to allow the dictator to kill more of us. He is thirsty for blood especially at this stage and he will try to use any opportunity to kill more revolutionists," Al Omami said.

He said there is good news from the western region which is traditionally considered a stronghold of Gaddafi. "We have been assured that Lt. Gen. Jubaran Hussain has left Bin Waleed camp in south-east of Tripoli.

"More than 3,000 people in the camp are planning to leave their post and will not participate in crushing the uprising in Tripoli or anywhere in the country," Al Omami said. Adding that Lt. Gen. Hussain's move was not explained but observers in Tripoli have explained the defection as a direct reaction of the Warfalla tribe's decision to ditch Gaddafi and join the opposition. Hussain is a popular member of the Warfalla tribe which lives in the region.

Meanwhile, Benghazians enjoyed a peaceful day yesterday after a defected battalion lead by Colonel Abdul Fattah Younis managed to rid the city of groups of mercenaries who were responsible for killing 52 people in Sunday afternoon's massacre.

Judge Kamal Huzaifa, from Benghazi told Gulf News that he has rejected Gaddafi's offer to form a civilian government with two security posts filled by Saif Al Islam.

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