Reports: Libyan Fighter Jets Firing On Protesters In Tripoli

The massacre in Libya seems to be getting worse:

(Reuters) – Military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Tripoli, Al Jazeera television said on Monday.

The TV network quoted witnesses for its information.

The lack of reporters on the ground means that there’s no independent verification of this, but al-Jazeera also recently reported that two Libyan jets had landed at an airport on Malta and that the pilots were requesting asylum because they refused to follow orders to fire on civilians.

Additionally, there are reports that the Libyan diplomatic corps seems to be defecting. The ambassadors to Indonesia, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the Arab League have all reportedly resigned over the past 24 hours.

Al-Jazeera’s live feed is doing as good a job as possible at keeping up with the information coming out of Libya, and the network also maintains a Live Blog where much of the news is summarized as it comes in.

By all indications, Gaddafi is desperately clinging to power at this point and he doesn’t mind killing his own people to do it.

UPDATE (James Joyner): It looks like, in addition to being dastardly, the plan is backfiring.  Reuters reports, “Two Libyan Air Force fighter pilots defected on Monday and flew their jets to Malta where they told authorities they had been ordered to bomb protesters.”

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    It’s Mussolini time for Qaddafi. Bullets and a meat hook.

  2. John Peabody says:

    Doctors are needed in Tripoli. I cannot make light of this. According to earlier posts at OTB, we are enjoying a world-wide drop in poverty, and in the US we are paying less taxes than ever. But we are bent out of shape over government activity in a Midwestern state. The grandstanding for television is disconnected from the real world.

  3. TG Chicago says:

    What did Joyner’s update add to the original post? I guess he quoted the word “bomb” rather than “fire on” — which admittedly is an interesting distinction — but I’m confused. Did Joyner not catch that Mataconis had already posted that info?