Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A man stabs an effigy of Libyan dictator Moammar Kadafi on the waterfront in the coastal city.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Young protesters hang an effigy of Moammar Kadafi on a flagpole along the waterfront. The eastern city was one of the first to come under the opposition's control.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Despite pouring rain, protesters gather outside city courthouse, where the revolt began, vowing to continue to resist Kadafi.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Graffiti is splashed on the courthouse, where a protester waves an old national flag that was replaced by Kadafi when he came to power in 1969.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A man covers pictures of political prisoners with plastic as the rain comes down on a rally at the courthouse.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Men and boys clamber aboard a tank abandoned by the army on the waterfront.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Young Libyans at a rally to keep up pressure on Kadafi.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Protesters have adopted the old tricolor national flag in their movement against Kadafi.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Young men with an old national flag pose for pictures on the waterfront.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

People head to Tunisia to flee the violence spreading across Libya. Thousands, many of them guest workers from Egypt and Tunisia, have crossed into Tunisia. Libyan forces at the border confiscated cameras, memory cards and cellphone SIM cards.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

People streamed out of Libya into Tunisia, where they were given food and beverages and boarded onto buses headed away from the border.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

People fleeing into Tunisia board buses taking them away from the border. Many of them are guest workers from Egypt and Tunisia.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Refugees wave Tunisian and pre-Kadafi Libyan flags atop a bus at the border.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Refugees cross into into fleeing the violence in Libya. Libyan forces at the border warned them against painting a negative picture of the events in Libya.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A man weeps as he makes his way over the border carrying a child. Thousands of people, mostly Egyptian and Tunisian guest workers, have fled Libya.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

People cross the border into Tunisia. The opposition movement has been making advances to the west, nearing Tripoli.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A refugee family awaits a bus at the border to travel into Tunisia after fleeing the violence in Libya.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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On the ground in Libya and Tunisia

Times staff photographers Rick Loomis and Luis Sinco are covering the turmoil in Libya. Sinco is in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi which is under protesters’ control and Loomis is on the border in Tunisia.

This is one in a series of occasional reports on their experiences.

Sinco, as told to Bryan Chan in Los Angeles:

Sinco arrived in Benghazi with Times staff writer Raja Abdulrahim about noon after a drive he described as “scenic” through rolling hills, mountains and olive groves.

They went straight to the main square where they found people still rallying and protesting against the government of Moammar Kadafi. Similar to his reception in nearby Beida, people were eager to have their photo taken.

At the courthouse, the rebels presented several men from Ghana they claimed were mercenaries brought in by Kadafi. The men denied the accusations saying they had done nothing wrong. Sinco said the men looked “scared out of their mind.” The rebels also showed a Libyan man who admitted to being in a pro-government militia and shooting a protester in the leg. All were under investigation and the rebels would not allow journalists to take photos or interview the detained men.

Back in the square Sinco found people climbing on an abandoned army tank. The kids, Sinco said, treated it like a big jungle gym, clambering on it and swinging from the gun barrel. Some people climbed in and rotated the turret.

A man walked by dragging an effigy of Kadafi. He stopped and stabbed it violently with a knife and a boy ran up and started kicking it.

The journalists plan to stay in territory controlled by the rebels for now because they heard an official pronouncement that foreign journalists not registered with the government would be considered “Al Qaeda.”

“If we get arrested no one knows what will happen to us, whatever happens we will stop being able to get the story and photos and that’s why we’re here,” Sinco said. “No one wants to get arrested, no one wants to get shot.”

While Sinco spoke via satellite phone from his hotel he said he heard gunfire and a loud explosion in the distance.

Rick Loomis:

Yesterday I logged 15 hours of total travel time to get from Bahrain into Tunisia. Then another seven hours by car from Tunis to Zarzis, the town closest to the country’s border with Libya and which had rooms available.

This morning, with Times staff writer Borzou Daragahi, fixer Sihem Hassaini, a driver and I went another hour to the border — a dusty, barren landscape with a winter chill in the air. Not a single vehicle ventured into Libya from the Tunisian side.  But on the other, thousands of people were making a hasty exit from Libya.

They came on foot through the crossing, mostly Egyptians and Tunisians who were working in Libya Many lugged heavy suitcases on their heads, taking with them what they could. Others had just jammed things into plastic bags haphazardly. You could see the relief on their faces as they made their way to safety.

In the parking lot they were given food and drinks before being loaded onto buses crammed beyond full. Most of the refugees were men, but there were families too.  When I asked an Egyptian woman what it was like she said she thought it was the calm before the storm and was relieved to be able to get away.

There are several journalists on the border now, all playing a game of wait and see. Everyone wants to be reporting from inside, in western Libya. But unlike in the east where cities have fallen to the opposition, it has been deemed to dangerous. But as with Egypt and Bahrain, where things seemed to change hourly, tomorrow might be a different story.

Have car, will travel.

2 Comments

  1. February 24, 2011, 4:41 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PhotojournSG, who cares? and Mickey Tachibana, rupeshnandy. rupeshnandy said: Capturing events in Libya and Tunisia http://lat.ms/emLhqX #HR [...]

  2. February 25, 2011, 6:32 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jon austria, SRQCAT. SRQCAT said: Wow. RT @chiplitherland Latest images out of Libya: NYT: http://nyti.ms/fMJKmu and the LAT: http://lat.ms/i1l4Rr #photojournalism #phtgld [...]

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