Witness Says Libyan Army Attacked Mosque Near Tripoli

By Paul Schemm and Maggie Michael | February 24, 2011 | 5:06 AM EST

Libyans protest against Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi, in Tobruk, Libya, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Benghazi, Libya (AP) - A Libyan witness says a Libyan army unit has blasted a minaret of a mosque in a city west of Tripoli.

The witness tells The Associated Press by telephone that several protesters, who have been camped inside and outside the mosque while demanding the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi, were killed or seriously wounded in Thursday's attack.

The witness from Zawiya says the military used anti-aircraft missiles and automatic weapons in attacking the protesters around 9:00 a.m. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals and the report could not be independently confirmed.

The witness says the attack came one day after a Gadhafi aide came to the city and warned the protesters to leave or face a massacre.