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Libyan forces fire again

Libyan security forces open fired on mourners at a funeral for anti-government protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi again Sunday, a day after commandos and foreign mercenaries loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi pummeled demonstrators with assault rifles and other heavy weaponry as well as knives.

world Updated: Feb 20, 2011 23:36 IST

Libyan security forces open fired on mourners at a funeral for anti-government protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi again Sunday, a day after commandos and foreign mercenaries loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi pummeled demonstrators with assault rifles and other heavy weaponry as well as knives. A doctor at one city hospital said he counted 200 dead in his morgue alone since unrest began six days ago.

The crackdown in Libya is shaping up to be the most brutal repression of the anti-government protests that began with uprisings that toppled the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. The protests then spread quickly around the region to Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and outside the Middle East to places including the East African nation of Djibouti and even China.

The latest violence in the flashpoint city of Benghazi followed the same pattern as the crackdown on Saturday, when witnesses said forces loyal to Gaddafi attacked mourners at a funeral for anti-government protesters. The doctor at a Benghazi hospital said at least one person was killed by gunshots during the funeral march, and 14 were injured, including five in serious condition. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

A man shot in the leg Sunday said marchers were carrying coffins to a cemetery when they passed a military compound in Libya's second-largest city. The man said security forces fired in the air and then opened up on the crowd.