February 21st, 2011
07:30 PM ET

Eastern Libya appears to be under opposition control

Ben Wedeman
CNN Correspondent

Eastern Libya (CNN) - Groups of men in civilian clothing, armed with weapons ranging from shotguns to machine guns, guarded streets in eastern Libya on Monday as opposition leaders appeared to be in firm control of much of the region.

Opposition groups formed "popular committees" to maintain some sort of order after pushing out government forces in a spreading revolt against longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi, who has led the north African country since 1969.

One man who identified himself as a resistance leader said he has been meeting with Libyan military commanders in the region, and that a large part of the army has joined the anti-government forces. An ammunition dump was burning in the nearby desert, apparently set afire by retreating government forces.

But opposition leaders say they are concerned that pro-Gadhafi forces may try to retake the area, so the men on the street remain armed.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Ben Wedeman
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. justyna kwasnik

    i've been watching the news all day. i don't know if my brother gonna leave that country on time..he's afraid..i am afraid

    February 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  2. mike maulhardt

    The US has options to support the people of Lybia. Establish no fly zones for Lybian Military Aircraft as in Iraq. If that does not work, crater the military runways and take out the helicopters. Contact the tribal leaders to clarify and gain approval for a reasonable support plan. Start the transition to the new civilian leadership.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  3. james meyer

    Would some -body take the initiative to spell and pronounce his name correctly. It has several spellings and pronounciations on every major newscast. thx

    February 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm |


    I am a middle-eastern Muslim student attending Graduate school at UCSD, San Diego, CA.

    I would like to thank you, and CNN for the incredible coverage to the current events in the Middle East.

    I just have a small request. I keep hearing CNN anchors and correspondents using the phrase "Islamists" in reference to Islamic extremists. for someone who is not familiar with the details of Islam (which are a big percentage of CNN viewers). The word Islam"ist" may seem like it refers to the people with the religion of Islam or Muslims.

    Could you kindly use an alternative, clearer phrases to avoid sending the wrong message about the wrong people. Phrases like: Islamic Extremists, Islamic Jehadies, Jehadies, Muslim Terrorist Groups, even Islamic Fundamentalists. But the word "Islamist" might get misunderstood as it refers to Muslims.

    Thank you Anderson. Keep up the good job.

    Marwan Alhazmi

    February 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    I hope this is the end for Gadhafi – he has been a menace to his own country and to other nations for far too long. IF Libya falls like Egypt and Tunisia did how many other countries nearby will fall as well? The international map is changing rapidly and I hope for the better especially for human rights.

    February 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm |