TRIPOLI, Libya, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- An unconfirmed number of people were killed and scores wounded as anti-government protesters declared a Day of Rage in Libya, officials said.
The Human Rights Solidarity, based in Geneva, Switzerland, quoted witnesses in Libya as saying up to 13 protesters had been killed by rooftop snipers and scores injured in clashes with security forces Thursday.
The Libya al-Youm Web site said four protesters were killed by live ammunition in demonstrations in al-Beyida, west of Benghazi.
The New York Times said one protester was killed, quoting the Human Rights Watch organization as its source.
A report issued by Human Rights Watch Wednesday said Libyan Internal Security Forces arrested at least 14 anti-government protesters prior to Thursday's demonstration. Authorities used teargas and batons to disperse protesters in Benghazi Wednesday evening and sources told the organization one protester was killed and 14 injured.
"Col. Moammar Gadhafi should learn from his former neighbors that stability has to include respect for peaceful protest," Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, said.
On Wednesday in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, unconfirmed reports said two protesters were killed and scores injured, the Egyptian Web site Bikya Masr said.
The demonstrations were the first display of defiance directly challenging Gadhafi's four-decade regime.
The government continued to organize demonstrations in support of the Libyan leader and informed the public calls for the regime's overthrow will not be tolerated, CNN said.