WASHINGTON (AP) -- The State Department says the United States is gravely concerned about reports that hundreds of people have been killed or injured during anti-government protests in Libya.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley says the U.S. has raised strong objections with Libyan officials, including Foreign Minister Musa Kusa, about the use of lethal force against demonstrators.
Crowley says the U.S. reiterated "the importance of universal rights, including freedom of speech and peaceful assembly."
Protests against the longtime rule of Moammar Gadhafi reached the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Sunday, and protesters seized military bases and weapons. Forces loyal to Gadhafi have responded with violence, and medical officials, human rights groups and exiled dissidents say more than 200 have been killed.