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Posted at 2:13 PM ET, 02/25/2011

Libya protests: Report from Benghazi

By Leila Fadel
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Libyans in Benghazi pray while demonstrating for the removal of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi on Friday. Benghazi residents mourned more victims of the violence as fighting continued around the capital, Tripoli. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Libya state television showed pro-Gaddafi demonstrators dancing in the streets of the capital with posters of the besieged leader. As they danced a song played, "We are a family, and this is our father," referring to Gaddafi.

Text messages were sent to Libyan cell phones on Friday morning from Islamic leaders issuing orders to obey Gaddafi. Another promised that the Friday sermon would be for the fallen security forces and the young people who were killed because they were "misled by destructive organizations."

In Benghazi, where the opposition has organized and taken control, a new newspaper, "Libya," was distributed for only the second time. The masthead read: "We will not give up. Victory or death."

Before Friday prayers in Benghazi, three coffins bearing the bodies of people who had died in clashes last week were carried above the crowds. Men yelled out, as women wept for the dead.

During prayers, a cleric named Salem Jaber delivered an emotional sermon calling for unity and peace. He also warned that Libyans do not want foreign military intervention. "In God's name, we've taken our step in peace," Jaber said.

Others echoed the view that foreigners should not directly intervene on the ground during Libya's uprising. But they said they would like a no-fly zone to be implemented over the east to keep Gaddafi from sending war planes to attack.

Gamiyeh al-Oreibi, 60, held a picture of her 27-year-old son Muftah, who she said was shot and killed on Sunday during demonstrations. "I want Moammar Gaddafi to die in front of me," Oreibi said, he should have the same fate as her son and hundreds of others killed here.

In the courthouse, where a management committee was set up and a city council officially began its work, detainees were held and interrogated.

Abu Mohammed -- a young security man from the Katibat Fadil Abu Omar, a security base in Benghazi trained to protect Gaddafi and his family -- covered his face where he was being held. He was a member of the security force who shot at demonstrators along with foreign and Libyan mercenaries, he said. He turned himself in when he could escape from the base.

--Leila Fadel, the Post's Cairo bureau chief, contributed this BlogPost from Benghazi, Libya, some 600 miles east of Tripoli.

Go to the live blog.

By Leila Fadel  | February 25, 2011; 2:13 PM ET
 
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Comments

Gaddhafi fill be dead or get killed during this weekend and that will be the best for Libya and middle-east. After he is gone for ever, his assets will be confiscated and his kins will get nothing. Free and democratic Libya will arise. People will select their own Constitution and elect their own law makers and will never act like puppet of any one. Soon the remaining dominoes will fall and it will end along with the King of Saudi Arabia. It is sure and definite. No kings or his soldiers will stop this FALL. HUMPTY DUMPTY WILL FALL FOREVER.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | February 25, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Insiders know that a deal will soon be reached between Gadhafi and the heavily bribed opposition. He will step down only after his key supporters get the job of leading the new government. The transition will prevent a bloodbath and help the oil industry resume it`s business.

Posted by: morristhewise | February 25, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

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