Protests, Tear Gas Hit Tripoli

Military planes attack rebel territory
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 4, 2011 10:30 AM CST
Anti-Gadhafi protesters pray during the Friday prayer at the court square, in Benghazi, eastern Libya, on Friday March 4, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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(Newser) – Planned protests have erupted on the streets of Libya’s capital following today's prayers, and security forces are using tear gas to break up the demonstrations. Secret police had sat in wait outside mosques; as demonstrators began to call for an end to Moammar Gadhafi’s rule, police unleashed the gas alongside baton rounds, the BBC reports. Meanwhile, the government has continued air attacks on eastern rebel ground.

State television said the town of Zawiyah was recaptured by pro-Gadhafi forces, while rebels said they’d taken control of the airport at Ras Linuf, the city where government forces took refuge following a battle days ago. “Victory or death. We will not stop till we liberate all this country,” said Libya’s former justice minister, now an opposition member. Amid the clashes, some foreign reporters were barred from leaving their hotel in Tripoli; eventually they were allowed to leave on buses to locations handpicked by the government.

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