A 'Massacre' as Gadhafi Forces Re-Take Town
Violence against armed, unarmed becoming commonplace
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2011 6:53 AM CST
Libyan rebels celebrate their victory against troops loyal to Gadhafi, in the oil town of Ras Lanuf, eastern Libya, Saturday, March 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
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(Newser) – An elite pro-Gadhafi militia used brutal force to re-take swaths of rebel-held Zawiyah yesterday, in what rebels tell the New York Times was a "massacre." “I am watching neighbors dying unarmed in front of their homes,” one said via phone. At least 35 rebels were among the dead at a hospital, with 60 more missing, but a true body count was impossible. Rebels said that after four hours of heavy fighting, they held the town's center, but Gadhafi loyalists had laid a tight siege, making it impossible to come or go.

The brutality against unarmed Libyans is becoming commonplace, notes the Times. “I cannot describe the enormity of the violence they are committing against us,” said one witness. The loss of Zawiyah was the second strike against rebels yesterday, notes the AP—Gadhafi forces are suspected in the explosion of an ammunition depot near Benghazi, which held munitions valuable to rebels.