Libyan activists seize cities,oilfields
Use Of Force Un-Islamic: OIC
Tripoli, Feb 24: Opposition activists are increasing pressure on Muammar Gaddafi’s ailing regime, shutting down oil exports and mobilising rebel groups in the west of the country as the revolution rapidly spreads.
Gaddafi’s hold on power appears confined to parts of Tripoli and perhaps several regions in the centre of the country. Towns to the west of the capital have fallen and all of eastern Libya is firmly in opposition hands.
In Benghazi, the country’s second city, basic order is returning to the streets after days of fierce fighting that resulted in the military defecting en masse. Virtually all government buildings were looted and wrecked.
Benghazi is now being run by a makeshift organising committee of judges, lawyers and other professionals who have sent out young people to direct traffic and restore basic order.
The town of Mastra, about halfway between Benghazi and Tripoli, is reported to have fallen after days of violence.
All southern oilfields are in rebel control. The blockade had prevented 80,000 barrels a day being exported from the Dregga field alone.
Elsewhere in Libya forces loyal to Gaddafi are reported to have launched a counter-attack on anti-government militias controlling Misrata, 125 miles (200km) east of Tripoli. Several people were killed in fighting near the city’s airport.
The Libyan Interior Ministry has put the death toll in over a week of violence at 300, but Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has claimed that the crackdown has killed as many as 1,000 people.
USE OF FORCE UN-ISLAMIC: OIC’S FATWA
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has strongly condemned excessive use of force against civilians in Libya, terming it as a “human catastrophe” which goes against Islamic and human values.
In a statement issued by its Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, the OIC said it considers the “ongoing coercion and oppression in Libya as a humanitarian catastrophe which goes against Islamic and human values.”
In the same vein, the General Secretariat of the OIC emphasized that peoples have the right to express their legitimate claims in a peaceful and civilized way.
UNITE AGAINST BLOODSHED: OBAMA
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama told the world to unite to hold Libya accountable for a vicious protest crackdown, stiffening a US response to the crisis that critics had cast as too mild.
In his first televised response Wednesday to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s decision to unleash vengeance on demonstrators, Obama reached out to US allies and promised to deploy a “full range of options” to halt “outrageous” bloodshed.
Obama spoke as officials said that Washington was considering fresh sanctions and other steps against Libya, and as political pressure mounted on his administration for a more activist response.
“The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous, and it is unacceptable,” Obama said at the White House.
Seeking to corral international action on Libya, Obama said that in such a volatile situation, it was “imperative” for nations to speak with one voice.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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