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02/17/2011 12:18 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Middle East Protests: Facts About Libya (PHOTOS)

Libya has become the latest North African nation to witness social unrest, with large-scale revolts inspired by demonstrations in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt.

With dozens hurt in the clashes, the Libyan pro-democracy call has now cast the international spotlight on North Africa's wealthiest country. As Reuters is reporting, protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi came armed with stones and petrol bombs. The crowds set fire to vehicles and fought with police in a rare outbreak of violence in the oil-exporting country.

Perhaps Libyan autocrat Muammar Gaddafi, in power since 1969 and once viewed as a pariah by the West, has learned a thing or two from his neighbors -- in a possible concession to the protesters, his nation will reportedly free 110 members of the banned militant organization the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group from Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim prison.

Take a look at some facts about Libya here:

Facts About Libya