CNN Wire Staff
Benghazi, Libya (CNN) - As clashes in the Libyan capital continued Friday between government security forces and anti-regime protesters, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters unequivocally: "The violence must stop."
His remarks came as state television was airing images of the embattled but defiant strongman urging viewers to defend the nation.
A man CNN will identify only as Reda to protect his identity said in a telephone interview that armed men dressed in plainclothes fatally shot his two brothers Friday as they were demonstrating against the government. Also killed were his two neighbors, he said.
"The bodies have been kidnapped from the street," Reda said. "My other neighbors told me they kidnapped the injured people in the hospital to somewhere, nobody knows (where). This is the perfect crime. He's hiding all evidence for every crime he has. This is the horrible situation that nobody knows."
More than 1,000 people have been killed, according to estimates cited Friday by Ban. He noted that the eastern part of the country "is reported to be under the control of opposition elements, who have taken over arms and ammunition from weapon depots."
At least three cities near Tripoli have been the site of daily clashes, and the streets of the capital are largely deserted because people are afraid of being shot by government forces or militias, he said.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's supporters "are reportedly conducting house-by-house searches and arrests. According to some reports, they have even gone into hospitals to kill wounded opponents," he said.
Accounts from the news media and human rights groups and witnesses "raise grave concerns about the nature and scale of the conflict," he said. He said they include reports of indiscriminate killings, shooting of peaceful demonstrators, torture of the opposition and use of foreign mercenaries.
The victims have included women and children and "indiscriminate attacks on foreigners believed to be mercenaries," he said, referring to reports.
Ban called on the international community "to do everything possible" to protect civilians at demonstrable risk.
Ban said there appeared to be a growing crisis of refugees, with some 22,000 people having fled to Tunisia and a reported 15,000 to Egypt in the past few days. For many, the trip has been a harrowing one.
"There are widespread reports of refugees being harassed and threatened with guns and knives," Ban said.
"The violence must stop," he said. "Those responsible for so brutally shedding the blood of innocents must be punished. Fundamental human rights must be respected."
He called for the Security Council "to consider concrete action."
Ban said he will travel Monday to Washington to speak with President Obama.
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