Saturday, 19 February 2011

Benghazi "under people control" - Transcript of Libyan call through Feb17voices

Benghazi urban centres are now clear of Gaddafi's security forces after his son, Sa'adi Gaddafi, fled in a car convoy.

According to a caller from Benghazi, uploaded through feb17voices, the situation in the city is tense but "almost assuring" after all police stations and internal security offices were torched.

The protestors are also setting up tents and a huge sit-in in a square locaed in front of northern Benghazi court. There are more than 50,000 protestors.

Below is a transcript of the phone call, which appears to have been made on 18 February. I added subheadings, and some explanation:

Libyan caller: "Just let me send, just let men send this because your voice is distorted here. Just let me send.

"Currently a strong rumour is being spread from a senior army officer that African mercenaries are attacking houses. Ordinary people, including women, came out with sticks and batons to protect their houses.

Protestors setup camp at northern Benghazi court

"[The mercenaries were used] to disperse the protestors from the square in front of Benghazi's court north as they set up tents and are giving speeches one after the other in what looked like a festivals of songs."

Caller: "What what?"

Feb17Voices: "Go ahead, go ahead, continue."

Caller: "The protestors have been spending nights there, they setup several tents even though the wind is strong and the weather is cold but they are still therein front of the northern Benghazi court.

"Four tanks were brought in front of the court, but they were left in front of the court, which is strange. We don't know the reason why the soldiers brought the tanks then left them before returning to where they came from.

"The protestors withstood the tanks for while, but then they torcehd them for fear they may be used in a plan to disperse the sit-in."

Three civilians killed in tank incident

"Also, a tank in Salmani area where there is roundabaout called Jerar roundabout, because it has jars sculptures on it. The tank ran over a civilian car there killing its three passengers. They were killed and their bodies were ripped apart.

"This incident sparked more rage. Whenever the authorities commit a folly, the number of people on the sit-in increases; the number of people in front of the court is now more than 50,000 - almost 60,000."

Feb17voices: "[unheard]"

Caller: "I can hardly hear one or half a word of what you say - there's distortion - I don't know if this is deliberate or sponatenous. But the situation is almost assuring.

"I even don't know who I am talking to, but I want to get this out, to any one abroad."

All Benghazi police stations torched

"All the police stations [in Benghazi] were torched: in Fuihat, Hadaiq, Ras Ubeda, Al-Birka, and the city centre. Also two internal security offices were torched and those detained in solitary confinement therein were freed; the contents of the offices were also removed, including secret files, investigation reports and otehr dangerous"

"Ammo for various arms was seized, including cartridges and AK47 and many other things."

"Offices of Radio Benghazi was also torched."

On the other hand, "protestors headed for the internal security offce at Bneina airport - this is breaking news - they torched the internal security and police stations at the airpot."

As a result, "a large number of security personnel cordoned off the airport with the Sa'iqa [special] forces. It became clear, however, that the protestors intended to target only the internal security and police stations. They didn't want to damage a vital facility and a building that provides them with services.

"The public security department in Bengahzi was partially torched after bloody confrontations with those entreneched inside (who came from other torched police offices across benghazi, as the city is now free of security forces). Even traffic policemen are no longer there.

Machine gun fire

"We can still hear clashes with machine gun fire in front of Al-Fadil brigade, the command brigade, we can still hear machine gun firing [machine gun sound in the background] can you hear it my brother?

"The brigade is using heavy-calibre arms, including anti-aircraft guns, and Ak-47, the smallest arm is an AK47.

"There were news about the fleeing of Saa'di gaddafi who was there with the brigade, he fled with a car convoy out of Benghazi. 

"The city is considered completely under the control of the people.

"The army was deployed but they left."

Medical appeal

"This is an appeal to Libya and to the world: There's a sharp shortage of blood units of all blood gruops. We call on everyone to donate blood to Al-Jala'a hospital (which is full of injured),  7 october hospital and Benghazi hospital."

End of audio.

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