Clash breaks out as Libya braced for ''Day of Anger''

Written by: Pti
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Tripoli, Feb 16 (AFP) Fourteen people were injured inclashes in the city of Benghazi, as the country braced for a"Day of Anger" following the revolts in neighbouring Egypt andTunisia.

Libyan newspaper Quryna said 14 people were injured inthe clashes between security forces and demonstrators in theeastern city of Benghazi last night, in what it branded thework of "saboteurs" among the protesters.

Security forces intervened to halt a confrontationbetween supporters of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, who hasbeen in power for more than 40 years, and the demonstrators,it said.

The veteran leader is facing rare Internet calls forprotests tomorrow by activists buoyed by the ouster of veteranstrongmen on its eastern and western borders, in Egypt andTunisia.

One of the Facebook groups calling for a "Day ofAnger" in Libya and anti-regime protest that had 4,400 memberson Monday more than doubled in number to 9,600 by this morningafter the Benghazi unrest.

Three demonstrators and 10 members of the securityforces were injured, a hospital director said, quoted inQuryna, which is close to Kadhafi''s son, Seif al-Islam,without identifying the other casualty.

None of the injuries was serious, it said.

The protest was started by families of prisonerskilled in a 1996 shooting in Tripoli''s Abu Salim prisondemanding the release of their lawyer, Fethi Tarbel, the papersaid.

A website, Libya Al-Youm, said earlier that the unrestprompted a show of strength by supporters of Kadhafi in anumber of cities.

Police had used force to disperse the crowd gatheredoutside a police post in Benghazi, it said, while the BBCquoted witnesses as saying stones were thrown at police whoresponded with tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets.

Tarbel, who had been arrested for unknown reasons, wasfreed under pressure from the families, according to Quryna.

But the crowd of protesters grew and they beganchanting anti-regime slogans such as "The people will end thecorruption" and "The blood of the martyrs will not be invain," before police moved in to disperse them.

Soon afterwards, state television showed hundreds ofdemonstrators in the streets of Benghazi as well as Tripoli,Syrte and Sebha in support for Kadhafi, who seized power in a1969 coup which ousted a Western-backed monarchy.

It broadcast footage of pro-regime demonstrators onfoot and in cars, waving Libyan flags and portraits ofKadhafi. They chanted slogans against the Arab news channelAl-Jazeera, accused by the regime of having incited revolts.

Tomorrow''s protest has been called to commemorate thedeaths of 14 protesters in 2006 in an Islamist rally inBenghazi. (AFP)

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