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Tuesday
Feb222011

Gadhafi's Private Mercenary Army 'Knows One Thing: To Kill'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Moammar Gadhafi is using foreign mercenaries from Africa who don't speak Arabic as a private army to protect his regime, and they have shown no hesitancy to fire on civilian protesters, witnesses have said.

A doctor in Benghazi told ABC News several foreign mercenaries were captured by Libyan police who have sided with the protesters. The captives, the doctors said, can't speak English or Arabic, and when confronted by locals, they had a hard time communicating.

The mercenaries have quickly earned a reputation for brutality.

"They know one thing: to kill whose in front of them. Nothing else," said the doctor who was reached by phone but asked to not be publicly identified. "They're killing people in cold blood."

The doctor said he didn't know which country the mercenaries were from, but said they were black, spoke French and were identified by wearing yellow hats.

Hafed al-Ghwell, a Libyan-American activist, said his sister lives in Tripoli and reported similar scenes.

Experts say that Gadhafi is so paranoid about his own military that he has purposely kept it weak so they won't turn on him.

In Benghazi, the doctor ABC News reached by phone described a more calm scene, saying police and military forces have joined civilians to take over the leadership of the country.

"People [in Benghazi are] very happy now because Gadhafi is gone from Benghazi. He no more control the area," the doctor said. "Now everything is secure. No more blood, but in Tripoli it's a disaster."

In Tripoli, witnesses describe a chaotic scene, with helicopters attacking protesters as Gadhafi supporters in Land Cruisers fire at people at will.

"Tripoli is burning," Libya's ambassador to the United States, Ali Suleiman Aujali, said on Good Morning America on Tuesday. "The people are being killed in a brutal way. The people are armless."

Even residents holed up in their homes aren't safe, eyewitnesses say.

"It's really bad out there. Everyone's getting killed. I mean, it's getting worse and worse right now," said one Libyan woman based in Tripoli. "They're just killing people in the streets."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio