Saturday, February 26, 2011
Gaddafi's forces keep on firing on protesters in Zawiyah and Misrata
Libyan security forces and pro-government groups in the western city of Zawiyah have violently attacked anti-government protesters and Egyptian migrant workers, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday.. Meanwhile the world powers struggle to find a way to stop Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi from lashing out at his people. US president Obama signed an order prohibiting transactions related to Libya and blocking property, the first major step to isolate Gaddafi. 'By any measure, Muammar Gaddafi's government has violated international norms and common decency and must be held accountable," Obama said in a statement.
Diplomats at the United Nations said a vote on a draft resolution calling for an arms embargo on Libya as well as travel bans and asset freezes on its leaders might come on Saturday.
Tripoli's streets were eerily quiet overnight, with portraits of Gaddafi adorning street corners and a few police cars patrolling after a day in which residents said pro-Gaddafi forces fired at and over the heads of protesters in many areas. Up to 25 people were said to have been killed in one area alone.
"Peace is coming back to our country," one of Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, told reporters flown into Libya under close supervision. "If you hear fireworks don't mistake it for shooting," the 38-year-old London-educated younger Gaddafi said, smiling. He acknowledged pro-Gaddafi forces had "a problem" with Misrata, Libya's third largest city, and Zawiya, also in the west, where protesters had beaten back counter-attacks by the military but said the army was prepared to negotiate."Hopefully there will be no more bloodshed. By tomorrow we will solve this," he said on Friday evening.
At Tripoli's international airport, thousands of desperate migrant workers besieged the main gate trying to leave the country as police used batons and whips to keep them out. Thousands heve been feeeing the country to Tunisia in the West. International diplomats say some 2,000 or more people have been killed. The U.N. Security Council draft, drawn up by Britain and France, said the attacks on civilians in Libya may amount to crimes against humanity.