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21 February 2011

Libyan protests: in pictures

Solidarity rallies are taking place worldwide as Muammar Gaddafi’s son warns that civil war could be

By Samira Shackle

Above, a woman shouts in support of the people of Libya in front of the White House in Washington, DC. In a bloody crackdown in Libya’s second city, Benghazi, troops and mercenaries fired on unarmed protesters. The current death toll is at least 230.

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Supporters of the Libyan leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi, kiss his photograph at a pro-government rally in Tripoli. For the first time since the unrest in Libya began, anti-government protests have spread to the capital, with reports of gunfire and tear gas today.

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More pro-government protesters are seen above. Verifying information from Libya has been difficult amid a government crackdown on the internet and media communications.

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The Libyan leader’s son Saif al-Islam has warned that civil war could hit the country. In a rambling address, he criticised the protesters but promised significant political reforms. He repeatedly said that Libya was “not Egypt or Tunisia”.

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Above, a girl protests outside the Libyan embassy in London. Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi admitted that the police and army had made “mistakes”, but said the death toll was far lower than reported.

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Demonstrators in Cairo, Egypt, shout slogans. Colonel Gaddafi, the longest-serving leader in the Arab world, has ruled the oil-rich state since he staged a coup in 1969.