By Ria Novosti
Protests in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule have left up to 200 people dead, the U.K.’s Independent newspaper reported on Sunday.
The protests in Libya, one of the world’s major oil suppliers, started on February 15 amid violent anti-government demonstrations across the Middle East. Riots are largely centered in the eastern cities of Benghazi, Bayda and Tobruk, but there are reports that unrest has been spreading to the west of the country.
Earlier reports put the death toll from anti-government protests at 100 people.
On Saturday, several dozen people were killed in Benghazi when snipers reportedly opened fire at the crowd of mourners.
A doctor at a Benghazi hospital told Al Jazeera TV channel that his hospital received at least 15 dead bodies bearing “bullet injuries from high-velocity rifles.” The shooting took place during a funeral procession.
“Dozens were killed… We are in the midst of a massacre here,” Reuters news agency quoted an eyewitness as saying.