Libyan police, protesters clash in Benghazi
Libyan security forces have stepped up their attempts to violently disperse anti-government protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi, eyewitnesses and activists said in online reports on Saturday,DPA reported.
Security forces were said to have attacked demonstrators in front of the Benghazi courthouse in the early hours of Saturday, following reports that protesters had gained control over most of the city.
Other opposition groups said that protesters also took over the Benina airport in Benghazi, the country's second-largest city.
The broadcaster Al Jazeera reported that several protesters had begun to gather on Saturday not only in Benghazi, but also other cities such as Darnah and Baida.
Clashes in Benghazi on Friday killed at least 35 people, according to the activist group Human Rights Watch, which attributed most of the deaths to the use of live ammunition.
The New-York based group estimates that at least 84 protesters have been killed during three days of protests against Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, based on phone interviews with hospital staff and witnesses.
"Gaddafi's security forces are firing on Libyan citizens and killing scores simply because they're demanding change and accountability," said Joe Stork, the group's deputy Middle East and North Africa director. "Libyan authorities should allow peaceful protesters to have their say."
Protests had turned violent across Libya on Friday, with opposition activists saying that dozens of people were shot dead during funerals and marches for those killed in anti-government demonstrations earlier this week.
The opposition has been broadcasting information about the clashes mainly via the internet. By Saturday morning, the networking website Facebook, the video website YouTube and the websites run by Al Jazeera were reportedly no longer accessible in Libya.
Emboldened by successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, thousands of Libyans are calling for the ouster of Gaddafi, who has been in power for 41 years.