Libyans mass for another day of protests

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Cairo, Feb 20 (AP) Libyan protesters defied a fiercecrackdown by Moammar Gadhafi''s regime, returning today to asquare outside a court building in the flashpoint city ofBenghazi to demand the overthrow of longtime ruler MoammarGadhafi.

Witnesses told The Associated Press hundreds ofdemonstrators gathered early morning at the court buildingafter a day of bloodshed, during which Libyan forces openedfire on mourners leaving a funeral for protesters.

In the hours after that attack, a medical officialsaid at least 15 people were killed.

But Mohammed Abdullah, a Dubai-based member of theLibyan Salvation Front, said today that the toll could be muchhigher.

He quoted hospital officials in Benghazi saying thedeath toll might have reached 300.

Witness accounts said a mixture of special commandos,foreign mercenaries and Gadhafi loyalists armed with knives,Kalashnikovs and even anti-aircraft missiles went after thedemonstrators.

Getting concrete details about the six days ofprotests in Libya is difficult because journalists cannot workfreely inside the country, which Gadhafi has tightlycontrolled for 42 years.

Information about the uprising has come throughtelephone interviews, along with videos and messages postedonline, and through opposition activists in exile.

The US-based Arbor Networks reported another Internetservice outage in Libya just before midnight yesterday night.

The company says online traffic ceased in Libya about 2 amyesterday, was restored at reduced levels several hours later,only to be cut off again that night. (AP)

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