By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — New York-based Human Rights Watch says the number of people killed in a crackdown on three days of protests in Libya has risen to 84.
Most of the deaths took place in the second-largest city of Benghazi, where 35 deaths were reported on February 18 by one hospital alone.
At least four other cities of eastern Libya have seen protests and clashes this week.
Protests are said to be continuing. The AP news agency quoted witnesses as saying special forces attacked hundreds of protesters camped out in front of Benghazi’s courthouse on February 19.
However, there have been no major disturbances in the capital, Tripoli.
State media have warned of retaliation against critics of Muammar Gaddafi, in power in the North African country for more than four decades.
Benghazi’s airport was closed amid reports that protesters had taken it over.
Websites including Facebook and Al-Jazeera Arabic have been blocked and electricity shut off in some areas.