Anti-Gaddafi Protesters Seize City in Libya, Police Fraternize with Them
Anti-government protesters have seized control of the third largest city in Libya, Al Bayda, located in the eastern part of the country, according to unconfirmed reports.
Local policemen have fraternized with the protesters in Al Bayda, according to Twitter posts by local activists cited by lenta.ru, and reports of two Libyan exile groups based in Geneva, the Libyan Human Rights Solidarity group, and the Libyan Committee for Truth and Justice.
Libyan security forces are reported to have immediately attacked Al Bayda in order to retake the city from the protesters opposing the dictatorship of Muamar Gaddafi.
Reports have indicated that the fraternizing between police and protesters in Al Bayda was the result of the appearing of "mercenaries" - i.e. armed people from neighboring Arab countries tackling the protesters with extreme violence.
The mercenaries were pushed out of Al Bayda with the joint efforts of the local police and the citizens.
Twitter witness accounts have indicated that the police in two other Libyan cities, Al Marj and Derna, have also started to fraternize with the protesters.
Libya's second largest city Benghazi has continued to see protests against Muamar Gaddafi, while supporters of the Qaddafi regime are reported to have demonstrated in the capital Tripoli.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Libyan security forces have killed at least 24 protesters in the past two days.
The protests in Libya as the ongoing civil unrest in other Arab countries have come as aftershocks of the toppling of the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia and the Mubarak regime in Egypt by civil unrest.
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