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20 February 2011

The video and audio telling the story of Libya

Piecing together events.

By Jon Bernstein

Human Rights Watch now says that at least 104 people have been killed in Libya since last Wednesday when protests against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule broke out. But with few journalists on the ground – foreign reporters are officially banned – piecing together what is happening is not easy. Filling the void are amateur video and eyewitness accounts from Libyans prepared to speak out.

Some of the most dramatic video is that featured in this ITN package (and seen elsewhere), which appears to show mercenaries in yellow hard hats opening fire on protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi.


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The Arabic news channel al-Jazeera has what it claims is exclusive (but again, amateur) footage, including the apparent capture of a mercenary hired by the Libyan regime to attack demonstrators. Disturbingly, it also has film from inside a hospital morgue.


Meanwhile, the BBC is currently running further amateur film of protesters in Benghazi, reportedly taken on Friday.

The Feb 17 voices Twitter feed is carrying some eyewitness accounts in audio, including this one, titled: “Can you hear the gunfire in the background?”