Protesters Are Awesome: Libyan Pilots Defect to Malta After Refusing to Bomb Protesters

Two Libyan Air Force pilots today fled to Malta after refusing to follow orders to bomb their countrymen.

Though it's being reported that Libyan forces fired live rounds into peaceful demonstrations in Tripoli today, at least two soldiers have fled the nation after rejecting orders to attack their countrymen.

According to a government source in Malta, two Libyan Air Force pilots today defected to the tiny island nation after being ordered to drop bombs on fellow Libyans, who have been protesting against the 40-year rule of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The pilots refused, at which point they escaped to Malta.

Since the Libyan protests began on February 15, soldiers have killed 233 protesters, a number that almost certainly increased today, as the air force and foot soldiers clashed violently with demonstrations around the capital city of Tripoli.

Besides the two pilots, Libya's minister of justice, Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil, and two of its diplomats have quit in response to the government-led violence. Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, said today there would be "rivers of blood" if the protests against his father didn't end.

photo (cc) via Flickr user infomatique