Protests Spread To Libya

Unprecedented demonstrations sweeping the Middle East and North Africa spread Wednesday to Libya, where police clashed with anti-government protesters in the coastal city of Benghazi, an independent source told CNN.

About 200 protesters came out to show support for human rights activist and lawyer Fathi Terbil, who had been detained earlier, the source said. Several people were arrested after police confronted the protesters, the source added.

But Libya -- ruled by Moammar Gadhafi since 1969 -- is not Egypt, said a highly placed Libyan source close to the government who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

""There is nothing serious here,"" he said. ""These are just young people fighting each other.""

Driven by discontent and fueled by social media, protests in the region spread this week not just to Libya but to Iran and Bahrain. Anti-government sentiment has also manifested itself on the streets of Algeria, Jordan, Syria and Yemen.

In Yemen, Sanaa University students protested Wednesday, calling for an improved curriculum, but the demonstration rapidly morphed into an anti-government stand.