At least 84 people have been killed by security forces in three days of protests in Libya, Human Rights Watch has said.
Thousands of people took to the streets in several Libyan cities on Friday to protest violent attacks against peaceful demonstrations the day before.
Inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Libyan protesters called for a Day of Rage on Thursday in a bid to challenge the rule of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who has been accused of human rights abuses.
Gaddafi, who came to power on the back of a 1969 coup, is the longest-serving leader in both Africa and the Arab world.
The report based on telephone interviews with local hospital staff and witnesses said 20 people were killed in Benghazi, 23 in Baida, three in Ajdabiya, and three in Derna on Thursday.
Another 35 people died in Benghazi on Friday, it said.
"The Libyan authorities should immediately end attacks on peaceful protesters and protect them from assault by pro-government armed groups," the group said in a statement.
The protests in Libya, one of the world's major oil suppliers, started on February 15 amid violent anti-government demonstrations across the Middle East.
MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti)