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Libyans In San Diego Fearful For Relatives Back Home

Audio

Aired 3/1/11

Family members in Libya say they're outgunned by government forces who are killing indiscriminately.

Members of Libya's police forces waving the country's old national flag and with a truckbed full of children parade in the eastern city of Tobruk.
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Above: Members of Libya's police forces waving the country's old national flag and with a truckbed full of children parade in the eastern city of Tobruk.

While U.S. officials warned about the risk of civil war in Libya, a San Diego man in contact with family in Tripoli said the body count is mounting by the hour.

San Diego businessman Akram Mansori said he doesn't ask his relatives in Tripoli if they’re participating in protests against the government because he’s afraid phone conversations are being monitored. But he said his family gives him daily accounts of the violence Gadhafi is committing against his people.

“It’s a huge mess. I personally consider it like a genocide. He has people from all over Africa handling the machine guns, just killing, the numbers are rising by day, by the hour, the killing.”

Another San Diego man who emigrated from Libya, Abdul El-Arbi, said his sister, nephews and nieces in Tripoli have barely stepped out of their homes since the unrest started last month. One of El-Arbi’s nephews who participated in the protests initially has now gone into hiding. Government forces have shot into homes. El-Arbi said Libyans have little to respond with.

“People in Tripoli, they have no weapons except knives if you considered it a weapon,” El-Arbi said. “They have no way to defend themselves. If they come out which happened last Friday to protest, they spray them with bullets like bursts they kill them.”

El-Arbi believes the best way to help Libyans is for the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday that a no-fly zone to protect rebels from Gadhafi is being considered.

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