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Thousands of Libyan women march for “no-fly zone”

Several thousand Libyan women marched through the streets of rebel-held Benghazi on Saturday, demanding a no-fly zone to stop Moammar Qaddafi from bombing rebel fighters.

"No-fly zone! No-fly zone!" chanted the crowd in English and in unison, waving Libyan flags and flashing victory signs as they marched along the seafront corniche in the country's rebel-held second city.

Students, mothers, grandmothers, children and toddlers walked hand in hand, most of them wearing headscarves and some with flags painted on their cheeks and Libyan flags wrapped around their foreheads, bandana-style.

They held up framed photographs of male relatives killed since the uprising began in mid-February and banners scrawled with slogans such as: "Is oil more expensive than the blood of our sons?"

One demonstrator held up a poster depicting Qaddafi as a vampire, with fangs, fuzzy hair, blood dripping from his mouth and a pirate's eyepatch.

"We want a no-fly zone because we are dying, we are dying, we are dying. We need help from the UN," shouted one woman in a headscarf.

"We don't want foreign intervention, we just want a no-fly zone and our boys will do the rest. But they have light weapons in the face of air strikes," said Nada el-Turki, an economics student walking hand in hand with a toddler.

At the beginning of the protest, witnesses said a man tried to ram the march with a car stocked with grenades, but was detained by volunteer guards, some of whom were carrying rifles and one a rocket-propelled grenade.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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