Protests continue in Libya and beyond and are met with violence

02/25/11 Seán Kinane
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The White House says the U.S. is moving forward with plans to impose unilateral sanctions on Libya in response to violence there.

Another U.S. official says the United States has closed its embassy in Tripoli after evacuating all personnel on a ferry and a chartered airplane.

There are reports of at least four deaths today in Libya's capital. That’s after militias loyal to Moammar Gadhafi opened fire on opponents holding their first major protest in Tripoli in days. On the television news channel Al Jazeera English, a man in Tripoli said there was random gunfire near a cemetery after Friday prayers. But his call ended abruptly when someone else told him he could not talk to Al Jazeera.

Much of the country outside the capital is reportedly controlled by pro-democracy activists.

UN's top human rights body condemned Libya. Today they ordered a probe of possible crimes against humanity and have recommended that the country be suspended from the UN Human Rights Council.

The entire Libyan mission at the UN in Geneva has quit in a public session and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Gadhafi must resign.

Gadhafi made a brief surprise speech in front of hundreds of supporters in Tripoli today.

Protests continue in other countries across the Arab world. One month after major demonstrations began in Egypt, thousands of people rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square to keep up pressure on Egypt's military rulers to carry out reforms.

In the country where the mass protests began, Tunisian police fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in the center of the capital.

In Iraq, officials say at least 11 people have been killed and dozens injured in a day of violent clashes during demonstrations opposing the occupation government.

And in Yemen, tens of thousands of people gathered in the capital for Friday prayers followed by demonstrations demanding the president step down.

information from the Associated Press was used in this report

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