This is reliable information via Skype: Feb 28 from Tripoli
“Skyped with a friend who has contacts all over Libya. Here are some highlights of the conversation:
- People in the southern city of Sabha (described by the BBC and others as a Gaddhafi stronghold) are incensed over the killings elsewhere in the country and are going over to the opposition. Sabha is a very strategic city, with lots of military facilities and would be a major
- In Tripoli, people have been going to the banks to collect LD500 (US$400) offered by the regime, attempting to buy loyalty.
- Travelers to the Tunisian border are forced through Libyan military checkpoints where cell phones and laptops are confiscated so images of what has been going on do not leave the country. Some discovered during vehicle searches are smashed on the roads but some wind up offered for resale. Yesterday’s price for a brand new laptop at these checkpoints was about US$15.
- In opposition-held areas, there are also checkpoints, to ensure nobody passes through bearing weapons. The opposition has organized to keep the peace. However, the regime appears to be mobilizing to try to take these areas back.
- There’s a surreal experience of “two Libyas” –Zuwara and Zawiya, where people are thrilled with their freedom, and the tanks and military amassed outside, with guns trained inward.
- Libyans are seeing buses leaving the Tripoli airport with windows covered up with newspapers from the inside. They suspect these buses are transporting newly arrived mercenaries, being added to the ranks of the trained killers who have been loose in the country.
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