Libyan protesters take control of Benghazi city

Arab World Materials 21 February 2011 17:50 (UTC +04:00)

Protesters calling for the ouster of against Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi have taken over theembattled eastern city of Benghazi, Mohamed Saber of the county's armed forces confirmed on Monday.

"The city is calm after protesters took control of it. We now have popular committees to protect the city," Saber told the German Press Agency dpa.

Unconfirmed reports over the weekend suggested at least 200 people had been killed in violent clashes in Benghazi, when thousands of Libyans demonstrated against Moamer Gaddafi - who has been in power for 41 years.

Independent verification has proved difficult due to the government's clampdown on communications and travel to the area. Some reports said the regime of Gaddafi had used foreign mercenaries to attack protestors.

"I, along with all my colleagues, am standing with our people," he said, as he called on the international community to save the people, and provide the city with medical supplies.