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CAIRO: At least 104 people have been killed in a crackdown by Libyan security forces on anti-regime protests raging in the east of the country, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday citing medics and witnesses.
"Our researcher in Libya has confirmed at least 104 deaths," HRW's Tom Porteous said on telephone. "It's an incomplete picture because communications with Libya is extremely difficult."
A staff member at Al-Jalal hospital in the city of Benghazi told HRW that the facility had received 20 dead bodies late on Saturday, with another 25 protesters in critical condition.
"The majority of those injured showed gunshot wounds to the head, neck and shoulders," said Porteous, the group's London director.
A doctor in the Libyan city of Benghazi says his hospital has seen the bodies of at least 200 protesters killed by Moammar Gadhafi's forces over the last few days. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears reprisal.
Witnesses told The Associated Press a mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and Gadhafi loyalists went after demonstrators on Saturday with knives, assault rifles and heavy-calibre weapons.
The shooting at the funeral, where the number of casualties could not immediately be confirmed, reinforced what seems to have become a deadly cycle in a city where thousands have gathered in antigovernment demonstrations: security forces fire on funeral marches, killing more protesters, creating more funerals.
By Sunday morning, the number of confirmed deaths around the country had risen to at least 173 people, most of them in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, Human Rights Watch reported.
WASHINGTON Feb 20 (Reuters) - The United States is deeply concerned by reports that Libyan and Bahraini security forces have attacked peaceful pro-democracy protesters, U.S. Ambassador the United Nations Susan Rice said on Sunday.
Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Rice rebutted accusations that the response of President Barack Obama's administration to a wave of pro-democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa has been inconsistent.
She stopped short of calling for regime change in either Libya or Bahrain, two countries with vital security importance for the United States where protests -- and reports of violence -- have been gathering momentum in recent days.
(Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will fight attempts to unseat him until "the last man standing," one of his sons said on Sunday after days of protests reached the capital.
At least 233 people have now been killed since unrest started last week, Human Rights Watch said, making Libya's uprising one of the bloodiest to have erupted in the Arab world over the past two months.
IS GADDAFI BLUFFING?
No. Gaddafi's security forces really could fight until the last man is standing because they know that if their boss falls, they too must fear for their lives.
Reporting from Cairo —
Anti-government protests raged Monday for the first time in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, with unconfirmed media reports of pro-regime snipers firing into crowds, bloody clashes on the city's main square, and fires blazing in key government buildings.
Al Jazeera reported that a fire was burning inside the People's Hall, a symbol of longtime strongman Moammar Kadafi's repressive regime. TV images showed demonstrators setting fires in the streets, but the size of the protests wasn't clear.