Protesters in Libya have defied a security crackdown and taken to the streets in four cities for a "day of rage," inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. New York-based Human Rights Watch said that Libyan authorities had detained 14 activists, writers and protesters who had been preparing the anti-government protests. Abdullah, an eyewitness in Benghazi, told Al Jazeera that he saw six unarmed protesters shot dead by police on Thursday.
He also claimed that the government released 30 people from jail, paying and arming them to fight people in the street.
Libya has been tightly controlled for over 40 years by Gaddafi, who is now Africa's longest-serving leader.
According to reports on Twitter, the microblogging site, Libya's regime had been sending text messages to people warning them that live bullets will be fired if they join today's protests.
In a country where public dissent is rare, plans for Thursday's protests were being circulated by anonymous activists on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
One Facebook group urging a "Day of Anger" in Libya, which had 4,400 members on Monday, saw that number more than double to 9,600 by Wednesday.
Social media sites were reportedly blocked for several hours through the afternoon, but access was restored in the evening.
Al Jazeera is understood to have been taken off the state-owned cable TV network, but is still reportedly available on satellite networks.
People posting messages on opposition site www.libya-watanona.com, which is based outside Libya, urged Libyans to protest.
"From every square in our beloved country, people should all come together in one city and one square to make this regime and its supporters afraid, and force them to run away because they are cowards," said a post on the website.
This guy got off with some rubber buckshot but i think Libiya will have more than a few bruises before this is over.