Like other cities in eastern
"After we saw what Moammar has done, it's impossible for us to surrender, because we know what they will do to us," said
On Sunday, when soldiers in planes and armored
vehicles arrived at an airport in Labrak, about 45 miles away, airport
employees began calling men in neighboring cities to surround the
facility to prevent them from attacking, said
For three days, said
Six men from Darnah were among the dead. Five others, ages 12 to 21, who were shot during protests are buried in fresh graves by a courtyard in the Prophet's Companions Mosque. At a hospital just a few miles away there are more bodies, residents said.
Some of the soldiers were captured and about 20 were held in a large room of the mosque for a few days before being moving to a location farther away, said Ashraf Sadaga, a member of the Prophet's Companions Committee, which oversees the area. The location is secret and the soldiers are being protected from the wrath of the city's residents, he said.
On the road in front of the mosque and a makeshift hospital, people have held protests since
"Now the protest is for expression," Sadaga said. "The uprising is over, eastern
Wednesday, protesters chanted, "The martyrs' place is heaven, Gadhafi is not for us." One young man held a sign saying, "Oh Gadhafi, congratulations. The people have dug your grave."
Hani Fadallah, 35, a radio sports reporter, said he was fired from his job seven months ago when Gadhafi's soccer team came to the city to play and he didn't cover the game. He recalled the novelty of speaking freely on the radio.
Away from the city center, several government buildings were burned, including the police station. On the second day of protests after Friday prayers, men set fire to the police station. Graffiti scrawled on the outer walls called for Gadhafi's resignation.
"It was a peaceful people's revolution that was faced with violence," Fadallah said. "If you are faced with violence, you will respond with violence."
Saad, the police officer, said he stayed on the job the first day of the protests, but once he saw the killing of innocent people, he left. Many other officers, he said, left as well.
"We joined the people," he said. "I changed my police uniform and put on civilian clothing, and joined the people."
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