Report: Benghazi now in the hands of Libyan protesters
(CNN) — Multiple eyewitnesses have reported that Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, was in the hands of protesters and their military allies after several days of unrest in the nation.
Some of the military dropped allegiances to longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, according to the report.
Obtaining independent confirmation on events in Libya is very difficult. The Libyan government maintains tight control on communications and has not responded to repeated requests from CNN for access to the country. CNN has interviewed numerous witnesses by phone.
Earlier Sunday, new clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Libya killed another 25 people, a doctor at Benghazi’s Al Jalla Hospital said, as protesters used an explosives-laden car and a tank to attack a military camp in Benghazi, according to witnesses.
The attack followed a clash between troops and marchers in a funeral procession in Benghazi. Sunday’s violence brought the death toll in the recent unrest to 209. Clashes also erupted in Tripoli on Sunday, according to an activist and witnesses.
Libyan state television reported that Saif al-Islam Gadhafi,the son of Moammar Gadhafi, would give a speech Sunday night.
Click here for more (including a video interview with a protester and amateur footage)
There are also multiple reports of members of the military defecting to the protesters, as well as foreign mercenaries engaging the protesters with live ammunition and tear gas.
Gaddafi’s son, Sayf al-Islam, spoke on state TV that “a few people have died” and that “outsiders” are provoking the unrest, a statement similar to what the Egyptian government said during the protests/uprising there.
Libya’s ambassador to the Arab League said Sunday he resigned his position on Saturday over “the killing of innocent people.” Abdel Ehuni said the protesters are asking for “normal things” and that Gadhafi is “over, finished.” He speculated that the Libyan leader has only a day or two left in power because “he lost the people.”
I hope Mr Ehuni is right and Gaddafi is gone within the next few days.
The death toll is estimated to be between 109 to 220, most of the killed from Benghazi.