Cairo (Agencies): The count of the people killed in a crackdown by Libyan security forces on anti-regime protests raging in the east of the country has reached 104, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday citing medics and witnesses.

"Our researcher in Libya has confirmed at least 104 deaths," HRW's Tom Porteous said. "It's an incomplete picture because communications with Libya is extremely difficult."

A staff member at Al-Jalal hospital in the city of Benghazi told HRW that the facility had received 20 dead bodies late on Saturday, with another 25 protesters in critical condition.

"The majority of those injured showed gunshot wounds to the head, neck and shoulders," said Porteous, the group's London director.

He said the Libyan government had shut down all Internet communications since late Saturday and interference on phone services has made it "extremely difficult to get information on what is going on there."

"We are very concerned under the communication blackout that has fallen on Libya since Saturday that a human rights catastrophe is unfolding."

Libyan authorities have arrested dozens of members of a "network" of Arab nationals allegedly seeking to destabilize the country, the official Jana news agency reported on Saturday.

Sources close to the investigation, quoted by the agency, said the group included Tunisian, Egyptian, Sudanese, Palestinian, Syrian and Turkish citizens.

Those arrested were "charged with inciting acts of looting and sabotage, such as burning hospitals, banks, courts, prisons, police stations and offices of the military police, as well as public buildings and private properties, according to plans drawn up earlier," Jana said.

On the fifth day of an unprecedented challenge to his four-decade regime, Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has still made no public comment, although he reportedly appeared at a
mass rally of supporters in the capital on Thursday.