Libyan State TV denies massacre claims as foreign countries evacuate citizens

20:27, February 22, 2011      

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Libyan state television denounced on Tuesday the allegations that the security forces are slaughtering protesters in several cities as "lies and rumors."

Libya was rocked by unrest in the past week with unconfirmed media reports of hundreds of protesters killed in clashes with the security forces. Dubai-based Al-Jazeera TV also reported that in Tripoli on Monday, Libyan forces hurled hand grenades at anti- government demonstrators and warplanes bombed protesters en route to a local army base.

Citing eyewitnesses, the TV channel put the death toll on Monday alone at some 160. The number could not be immediately verified by other sources.

The United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon called for an immediate end to the violence in Libya given the report that the Libyan government used war planes and helicopters against demonstrators, according to the statement from Ban's spokesman.

Egypt has enhanced its troops on the Libyan border to cope with an influx of refugees and the evacuation of Egyptian nationals.

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