Saturday, March 5, 2011

Massacre in Libya

Apparently the rag-tag rebels who have been holding key towns in Libya don't have the firepower nor the training to stave off an all-out assault by troops loyal to Moammar Gaddafi.

The New York Times reports a pitched battle in Zawiyah, a key town held by the opposition, by Gaddafi's militia. The paper quotes two residents as describing the scene as a "massacre."

Sky News reports fierce fightings in other towns held by rebels as well.

The evacuation of foreign nationals continues. The Times of India reports 9,200 Indian citizens have been removed from Libya but thousands more remain. The Hindustan Times reports that before the special flights sent in by the Indian government arrived to take them to safety, many of the evacuees say they were robbed of their luggage and money by Libyan troops. The Associated Press reports that all the Chinese workers known to be in Libya have now been safely evacuated.

Libya continues to blame outside influences for its troubles. Deutsche Press-Agentur reports that Tripoli is now pointing its fingers at the Netherlands for allegedly sending spies into the country. The Netherlands, of course, is home to the International Criminal Court, which is investigating crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated by Gaddafi against his own citizens.

All these allegations of outside interference in Libyan affairs - including specific allegations that African workers had been employed by Gaddafi as mercenaries - is making the situation particularly upset for black foreigners who are desperately trying to get out of the country, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. 

Recently imposed sanctions have apparently already taken their toll. Libya has petitioned the United Nations to lift them. But Italy, which has strong financial ties to  and depends on that nation to feed its oil consumption needs is balking at freezing Libya's assets, the New York Times reports.

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