Libya to Treat Visa-Less Journos as al-Qaeda

Military attacks mosque, airport; Gadhafi aide defects
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 24, 2011 10:15 AM CST
Libyan mortuary assistants look to unidentified dead burned bodies after a demonstration against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Benghazi, Libya, Feb. 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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(Newser) – Journalists who have entered Libya to cover the unrest will be treated as al-Qaeda collaborators if they don’t have visas, Libyan authorities have told US diplomats, according to the State Department. Libyan officials say they won’t ensure the journalists’ safety if they’ve entered the country illegally; instead, the reporters can expect to be prosecuted for violation of immigration laws. Reporters have been entering from Egypt, on the east side of Libya, over which the government now has little control, reports the AP.

Meanwhile, military and militia continue their crackdown on protesters, attacking a mosque that was host to an anti-government sit-in as well as an airport taken over by protesters. Some 10 people were killed and 150 wounded at the mosque, said a doctor. AP also reports that a close aide and cousin to Moammar Gadhafi has left for Egypt in protest of the leader's "grave violations to human rights and human and international laws."

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