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Libyan Online Activists Call For 'Day Of Rage'

February 17, 2011

Antigovernment activists have called for a "day of rage" in Libya.

The call came as a wave of political unrest swept through several Arab countries, after recent popular uprisings ousted the longtime leaders of Tunisia and Egypt.

Libya's leader Muammar Qaddafi has been in power for more than 40 years -- making him the longest-serving leader of the Arab world.

Public dissent is rare in Libya. The call for today's protests was issued by online activists on social networking sites.

In a first sign of defiance on February 16, protesters clashed with police and government supporters in the eastern city of Benghazi. More than 30 people, including police officers, were reported slightly injured.

The unrest in Benghazi followed the arrest of a human rights campaigner there.

There were also reports of clashes between protesters and security forces in the eastern city of Al-Baida overnight. Witnesses and Libyan NGOs based abroad said up to four people were killed.

The European Union has urged Libya to allow "free expression."

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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