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Text message from a house in Libya: We are being slaughtered here
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi pounds the podium as he delivers an address on state-run television on Tuesday. Living up to his reputation for theatre, Gaddafi, who had earlier referred to other media outlets as “dog stations”, called his opponents names ranging from “rats” to “sick groups”. He then issued a blood-curdling call to his supporters to go out and cleanse the streets of protesters. “You men and women who love Gaddafi... get out of your homes and fill the streets. Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs.” (AP)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi pounds the podium as he delivers an address on state-run television on Tuesday.

Living up to his reputation for theatre, Gaddafi, who had earlier referred to other media outlets as “dog stations”, called his opponents names ranging from “rats” to “sick groups”. He then issued a blood-curdling call to his supporters to go out and cleanse the streets of protesters. “You men and women who love Gaddafi... get out of your homes and fill the streets. Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs.” (AP)

New Delhi, Feb. 22: A few hours before Muammar Gaddafi pounded his fists at the world and asked his supporters to reclaim the streets from protesters, a Libyan economist sent the following text messages to The Telegraph.

The economist’s name is being withheld for fear of reprisal and the first two messages are being reproduced verbatim.

7.12pm IST: Tripoli is surrounded with mercenaries and we are yet to witness more massacres everyday.

We are dying in hundreds…

Love u all.

***

6.16pm IST: Please write in the press. We’re being slaughtered here... india needs to speak up. the libyan ambassador to india resigned cuz of these atrocities,

God be with Libya

***

The following paragraph was drafted from a series of text messages the economist sent and snatches of phone conversations with him

Libyans say Serbian mercenary pilots are helping the air force in Mirage bombing runs in cities, including the capital Tripoli. French-speaking African mercenaries are among troops shooting down civilians in Tripoli. “People are being shot for just walking on the street,” according to the economist.

***

Mobile phones and the Internet were routinely jammed but they did come alive once in a while. During one such window of connectivity, The Telegraph spoke to the economist. The conversation:

Q: Are you okay?

The economist: Helicopters are on our rooftops, roaming the city. Some of the dead are on the street in a place nearby. The people are unable to pick up the dead from the streets.

Q: Is it the military? Are people being bombed directly?

The economist: Mercenaries. I haven’t witnessed bombs. But I have witnessed helicopters shooting around the area.

Q: Are you home?

The economist: We have to be home. Curfew at 6 near our houses.

Q: Is the airport usable?

The economist: Not (for us). All foreigners are able to exit and this means that Tripoli will witness a massacre once they leave.

I feel the sentiment of frustration… that my fellow brothers and sisters are dying here and this feeling is growing as everything is extraordinarily quiet here.

 

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