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Saginaw Family Concerned About Loved Ones In Libya

By Selena Hernandez, CBS 11 News
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MEDITERRANEAN SEA - MARCH 19:  In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, seen through night-vision lenses aboard amphibious transport dock the USS Ponce, the USS Barry fires Tomahawk cruise missiles in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn March 19, 2011 in the Mediterranean Sea.  This was one of approximately 110 cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British ships and submarines targeting about 20 radar and anti-aircraft sites along Libya's Mediterranean coast.   (Photo by Nathanael Miller/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – MARCH 19: In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, seen through night-vision lenses aboard amphibious transport dock the USS Ponce, the USS Barry fires Tomahawk cruise missiles in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn March 19, 2011 in the Mediterranean Sea. This was one of approximately 110 cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British ships and submarines targeting about 20 radar and anti-aircraft sites along Libya’s Mediterranean coast. (Photo by Nathanael Miller/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

SAGINAW (CBSDFW.COM) – As the political unrest heightens in Lybia, one Saginaw family is growing anxious, knowing their loved ones are caught in the middle of a civil war. Now, they wait, desperately trying to get in touch with them.

“These turbulent times, it’s been difficult to keep up with the news because we’re not able to talk to our family,” Saddyna Belmashkan said. “Unfortunately, over the past three days we haven’t had any contact with them – all phones are down.”

Belmashkan’s family lives in Benghazi – an area she says has been traditionally the cradle of opposition to Moammar Gadhafi’s totalitarian rule. It was also the first area liberated early on in the protests.

“They really thought things were moving forward and the rest of Lybia would also be liberated,” Belmashkan said.

Yet, the hope has quickly turned to fear, as a nation comes under fire, and its people’s fight for freedom is threatened.

“They want change,” Belmashkan said. “So many people have already lost their lives since the past 41 years Gadhafi’s has been in power and the past month of the protests. So, I really think this is their time.”

Meanwhile, Belmashkan hopes for resolution and does what she can to help while she’s here in North Texas.

“We’ve had rallies and tried to get people to sign online petitions recognizing the liberation movement,” she said. 
”I hope the massacre will end, I hope innocent people will stop losing their lives – I don’t think people have lost their lives in vain, I think this is a movement that will eventually mean freedom for them.”

Belmashkan said the Libian National Transitional Council will gather next month to discuss ways to help those in Lybia. More information can be found here.

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