Al Jazeera Blogs


Live Blog - Libya Feb 22

As protests in Libya continue following days of violence, we keep you updated on the developing situation from our headquarters in Doha, Qatar.
Last modified: 22 Feb 2011 04:56
Alleged mercenaries deployed by Gaddafi in Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

As the uprising in Libya enters its ninth day, we keep you updated on the developing situation from our headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

Blog: Feb17 - Feb18 - Feb19 - Feb20 - Feb21

AJE Live Stream  - Twitter Audio: Voices from Libya  - Benghazi Protest Radio (Arabic)

(All times are local in Libya GMT+2)

February 22

11:53pm: Tripoli resident Khaleed urges Nato and others to send peacekeeping troops.

Right after his speech, mercenaries were sent into the street. There were gunshots in every direction you could hear automatic, semi-automatic, high-powered rifles. You cuold hear them, you could hear the different types and the different bursts of fire. It sounded like something out of Chechnya in all honesty.

11:40pm: Reuters reports Libyan troops deployed at Sabratha town, 65km west of Tripoli

11.35pm: Clashes reported in the Sarman district of Tripoli

11.29pm: You must watch this.

The family of Mohamed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian from Sidi Bouzid whose act of self-immolation triggered the Tunisian Uprising, has a message for the families in Libya who have lost their loved ones to the violent repression of the protests.

Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor, set himself on fire on December 17 after police abused and humiliated him. He died of his burns on January 4. The protest movement that began in Sidi Bouzid swelled to become a nationwide phenomenon, and spread to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, it reached Libya.

Hundreds of Libyans have been killed as Muammar Gaddafi attempts to petrify the protests against his regime. Menobia Bouazizi, Mohamed’s mother, recorded this message for their families. Her family sent the video to Al Jazeera. Read this excellent report from Al Jazeera's Yasmine Ryan, who recently returned from the birthplace of Tunisia's uprising - by clicking here: The tragic life of a street vendor

11.27pm: Reports the Irish air corps is heading to Malta to help evacuate Irish citizens from Libya tomorrow.

11.25pm: Is Younis positioning himself to take over? He concludes:

From my knowledge of Gaddafi, he won't leave, he will stay to the end, but he will stay alone. Who will aid him? Everyone has abandoned him. The Eastern & Central Provinces have abandoned him. To Gaddafi I tell him: Please end your life by praying for the martyrs, ask for God's forgiveness and the people's.

To Libyan people, you are a brave people, stand courageously, Libya will become a strong country. What I know is that the Free Officers of Libya have stopped their support of Gaddafi, his Security Battalion remain. Stand courageously, people of Libya, and those in Tripoli and Zawya and all over the country.

11.20pm: Younis adds: "Gaddafi's speech was very clear to any one who has a brain. He is nervous, he is stubborn. He may commit suicide. Gaddafi won't leave. He may commit suicide or will be killed. I didn't wish for him to face such an end."

11.13pm: Former Gaddafi No.2, Abdul Fatah Younis being interviewed on Al Arabiya.  Here's a rough translation of some of his comments, provided by @SultanAlQassemi:

The Libyan people have suffered too long. We have so much oil, the people could have lived as in a 5 star hotel.

Al Arabiya asks him: What happened?

There was a crowd of people outside my office, I was with my cousin. A bullet then went next to my right cheek, it hit my cousin who is in a very bad case now.

Gaddafi, that dirty man, wanted to say that I was killed by protesters so that my tribe, the Obeidat, will stand by him.

"You were a Minister of Interior but you only choose to speak now?" Younis: "I spoke to him 2 weeks before the revolution."

I told Gaddafi, we have too many unemployed youth. I want that dirty person who shot my cousin to face justice .

I am not a two-faced man. I worked with Gaddafi for 42 years, I was shocked at his speech today.

I wish Gaddafi had instead said a prayer for the fallen youth in his last days in office.

Our plan now it to support the youth in Tripoli so that it is liberated like Benghazi was.

I offer my condolences to the fallen martyrs (reads a statement of support for the youth revolution).

I begged Gaddafi not to send planes, I called him. Now of course we don't speak, I have joined the revolution.

Citizens collected weapons & brought them to me, we put them in a massive (airplane) hanger for safekeeping.

I gave orders to my men in Benghazi not to shoot at protesters, not one of my men shot at protesters, those who shot belong to the Security Battalions. I guarantee that none of my men shot at protesters.

11.09pm: Libyan state TV says "honourable citizens" continue to apprehend "vandals".

11.06pm: Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh tweets that Libya's state TV broadcasts names of military officers joining pro-Gaddafi demonstrations, describing them as "free officers".

11.03pm: Libyans tell Al Jazeera the scariest part of Gaddafi's speech was when he spoke of not using force "yet" - given reports over the past few days of mercenaries, airstrikes and photos of burnt corpses and protesters hacked apart.

11.01pm: Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros tells us eyewitnesses report police going through Tripoli and removing barricades put in place by residents to protect their homes from attack during the past few days.  Residents reported to be panicking.

10.55pm: Libya's state TV urges "those who like to film with their cell phones" to email in footage of pro-Gaddafi demos

10.53pm: More on that shoe throwing... Al Jazeera brings you the reaction as provided by state TV, with enthusiastic crowds greeting Gaddafi's lengthy, rambling speech. Meanwhile, the crowds in the eastern city of Benghazi - site of the beginning of the uprising - give a somewhat different reaction, as evidenced by a webcam stream:

10.51pm: The UN Security Council is putting together a final statement on Libya, but Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler commented on a first draft he had seen, saying it contained "nothing unpredictable".

Heidler said the draft statement condemned the violence used, it urged investigations, and it advised foreign nationals to leave Libya if they so wished. Details of the final statement will follow.

10.43pm: Disturbances rocking Libya have killed 300 people, including 58 soldiers, according to figures provided at the venue of a press conference to be given by Gaddafi's son, the AFP news agency reports.

10.39pm: The Reuters news agency reports that Saif Gaddafi is to give a press conference in Tripoli. We will cover it on our site. Watch here.

10.30pm: After growing unrest and violent crackdowns in Libya, a group of hackers has launched a way navigate the censors and route information to those affected in the north African nation. Red more here.

10.29pm: While Libyan state TV shows footage of a pro-Gaddafi rally somewhere in the country, our colleagues over at Al Jazeera Arabic have just screened very different footage - of the crowd's reaction to Gaddafi's speech in the eastern city of Benghazi.  The shoe-throwing starts 12 seconds in...

10.27pm: The emergency UN Security Council meeting on Libya has just begun in New York.

10.22pm: In his telephone call with Gaddafi, Italy's Berlusconi urged a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Libya and told the embattled leader Italy was not arming protesters as was stated in his speech earlier on Tuesday, Italian news agency ANSA said.

10.11pm: Libya's defected interior minister has urged the Libyan army to join the people and respond to their "legitimate demands" echoing the language used by defecting Egyptian military leaders before the fall of president Hosni Mubarak.

10:04pm: "Gaddafi's No.2" Abdul Fatah Younis, Libyan minister of interior and army general - resigns. More to come.

10.00pm: Gaddafi spoke to Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi via telephone, telling him that Libya is fine and the truth about events in the country are being shown on state media.

"The brother leader reassured during (the) telephone conversation the friend Berlusconi that 'Libya is fine, its people are ... holding on to its security, stability and national unity'," the official JANA news agency said.

9.56pm: Cal Perry adds that Italian air force sent jet fighters to establish visual contact with Libyan warship reportedly floating in Maltese waters.

9.55pm: Reporting in Malta, Al Jazeera's Cal Perry said employees of the Libyan embassy there joined protesters demonstrating outside on Tuesday. "We are seeing this government dissolve in its overseas postings," he noted.

9.47pm: Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, says he has telephoned Muammar Gaddafi to express his solidarity with the embattled leader.

9:39pm: Business leaders appear to be ready and waiting to move into a post-Gaddafi Libya. George Kanaan, CEO of the Arab Bankers Association in London, says reform will be "hugely positive" for the country - unlike Egypt, which already had a fairly open and "liberal" economy, change in Libya will encourage massive outside investment.  he'll be appearing on Al Jazeera soon. Watch here.

9.34pm: "This bloodshed is completely unacceptable," Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state said about the events in Libya, adding that it was the responsibility of governments to protect their citizens.

She also expressed concern over the violence in Yemen. Clinton urged middle eastern governments to "engage peacefully and positively" with their people in achieving desired ends.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost," she said.

9.21pm: Never mind The King's Speech - we've just had The King of King's speech... Check out this analysis of Gaddafi's speech by Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior policy analyst.

9.20pm: In case you missed it, a chilling warning from Gaddafi as he reads from his copy of the Green Book.

9.16pm: The Toronto Globe and Mail has produced an interesting graphic showing Gaddafi’s influence across Africa. Check it out by clicking here. Al Jazeera can’t be held responsible for the content of external websites.

9.00pm: Online reports say Benghazi "remains calm" despite claims it is being shelled by warships. Stay tuned to our live TV feed for reports and analysis. If you're in the UK, we're live on Freeview right now - and, if you're in the US, don't forget you can Demand Al Jazeera from your local cable provider.

8.55pm: Anoushka Kurkjian, a Middle East consultant told Al Jazeera the address was "a typical Gaddafi speech". She said "Gaddafi's resiliance is not in doubt" and it can't be ruled out that he will stay in power for as long as he can.

She added: "The structures of the state are disintegrating. There is that shift from Gaddafi towards an alternitive, but that hasn't yet taken shape."

Regarding the Arab League expelling Libya, she said "The Arab League has been muted by saying that it's suspending Libya. If the death toll does mount, reactions will become more thoughtful."

8:46pm: Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Istanbul, says, contrary to earlier agency reports, some Turkish flights were able to land in Tripoli and evacuate some Turkish citizens.  So far, 2,141 Turks have been airlifted home - though more than 23,000 remain stuck in Libya.

A pair of Seacat ferries have still not docked, but "are close to Benghazi" - though there is no guarantee they will be able to dock there.  At least 3,000 Turks are reportedly waiting in a nearby sports stadium.  Two further ferries remain on standby, one of which filled with medical supplies, she says.

8:45pm: German chancellor Angela Merkel says Gaddafi's speech was "very, very frightening" - and she is in favour of sanctions against his administration.  Further international reactions currently emerging include Chile speaking of its "extreme concern for the evolution of the political situation and the use of force in Libya".

8:42pm More on US senator John Kerry's statement - during which he said Gaddafi's actions were "beyond despicable". Libya's  "use of deadly force against its own people should mean the end of the regime itself. It's beyond despicable, and I hope we are witnessing its last hours in power." He said all international oil companies "should immediately cease operations in Libya until violence against civilians ceases".

United Nations leadership is on the line. Libya's mission to the UN bravely condemned their own government. Now UN action is critical.

8.40pm Libya's UN ambassador tells reporters:

I spoke to him [Gaddafi]. I told him: "Muammar, we are getting old, let's give our children a chance." He said: "We give our children plenty of chances." I told him: My children are not with us, they want change." He said: "My children want change, too."

8.38pm: Al Jazeera's Lawrence Lee filed this report about Tuesday's events in Libya:

8.34pm: Al Jazeera's White House correspondent Patty Culhane noted that  Barack Obama has himself been silent about Libya for a few days, even though he had made public statements during Egypt's similar unrest.

8.32pm: John Kerry, a US politician, called the Libyan government's use of force "beyond dispicable". He called on Barack Obama to reconsider sanctions against Libya, and said he hoped these were Gaddafi's last hours in power.

Kerry said the international community must send a message to Gaddafi that his "cowardly actions will have consequences".

8:29pm: PJ Crowley, US department of state spokesman, calls on Libya to respect rights of the "thousands" of US citizens in the country. He said the White House has "grave concerns" over the Libyan government's response to protests.

8.27pm: Videos emerge on file-sharing website LiveLeak of mobs lynching two people, understood to be mercenaries operating in Libya.  Also, a video appears of a demonstrator shot in the head by a sniper.

8.24pm: UNHCR - the UN's refugee agency - says it is "gravely concerned" or the safety and security of asylum seekers and refugees in Libya.

8.22pm: William Hague, British foreign minister, said there are many indications that Gaddafi's government is headed towards collapse, with diplomats resigning and the government in crisis. He says theHMS Cumberland, a Type 22 frigate warship, will be deployed to international waters off the Libyan coast - "in case it is required to play a role assisting British nationals".

8.20pm: The Brazilian government called on Libyans to seek a solution to the crisis through dialogue and reiterated its repudiation to the use of violence.

8.18pm: Oliver Miles, the former British Ambassador to Libya, told Al Jazeera Gaddafi's speech was "meant to make our blood run cold". He said he would not rule out Gaddafi sticking it out to the very end.

8.15pm: Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal at Sidi Barani, a town on the Egyptian side of the border with Libya, said Egyptians were still returning home. He also said doctors carrying blood and other medical aid were crossing the border carrying supplies over into Libya.

8.11pm: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Gaddafi's speech "very very frightening" and said he had declared war on his own people..

8.08pm: The Arab League put out an official statement condemning the events in Libya, but Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reported from Cairo that leading Egyptian political figure Mohamed ElBaradei said he was disappointed that the League did not take a stronger stand against the injustices.

8.02pm: In his defiant speech, Gaddafi said he will "cleanse Libya house by house" if protesters did not surrender.

7.59pm: Libyan state television is still showing pictures of government supporters following Gaddafi's speech:

7:57pm: Libya is suspended, immediately, from the Arab League. More details to follow.

7:51pm: We're expecting a closed UN meeting at 8pm GMT. Any UN member can attend - and the plan is/was for Libya's Deputy Ambassador to also give a briefing.  However, the surprise appearance of Libya's ambassador  - who has been remarkably absent in the past few days - at late notice could cause a problem, our UN correspondent tells us. 

UN protocol suggests they would have to defer to the ambassador for a briefing, whose position is in sharp contrast to the deputy ambassador, who told us yesterday that Gaddafi should face trial. Ambassador Abdel Rahman Shalgam to an earlier press conference:

I am with Gaddafi but I want the bloodshed to stop. I am not calling on him to step down.  If one Libyan has been killed - not ten or 20 - but one-  this is a crime. Gaddafi is brave, he will make a decision.  There is confusion - I have spoken to a relative in Libya and there has been no airbombing.

7.49pm: Reports from our contacts on the ground tell us military vehicles and helicopters are headed toward towns outside Tripoli. Jeeps started rolling immediately the speech ended, we understand.

7.46pm: Gaddafi called on "all those who love Gaddafi" to come out and demonstrate in his support tomorrow. State TV shows uhge crowds waving green flags and holding pictures of Gaddafi. Much as with the YouTube videos we've been sent over the past few days, with limited media access to the country, there's no way to independently verify when or where the pictures were recorded. 

7.44pm: More reports emerging of protesters, quite literally, torn limb from limb durnig the past few days.

7.34pm: In case you missed it - the backdrop to Gaddafi's speech - a piece of artwork showing a clenched fist crushing a US fighter jet, in front of the words "Allahu Akbar" [God is the greatest].

7.30pm: After the EU suspends its Libya Framework Ageement, and amid international condemnation of Gaddafi, where is President Obama? Rosalind Jordan, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Washington DC explains:

You didn't need the translation to see how much Gaddafi was trying to blame this on the US, among others. So the White House doesn't want to make any public speeeches - they're very aware of how that could be seen across the country.

Gaddafi asked, in his speech: 'Do you want the Americans to come and occupy you like in Afghanistan and Iraq?' If the president weighs in now, the Libyan authorities may well use that against the protesters.

US senator John Kerry wants the UN to step in - and for the African Union to investigae alleged use of mercenaries.

7.29pm: Analyst Ashur Shamis tells Al Jazeera: "There is no doubt Gaddafi will follow through on his threats against the people of Libya."  Looking over the past 24hours of our Live Blog updates, we've had some incredibly violent reports already.

7.27pm: Following Gaddafi's speech, online reports of gunfire being heard throughout Tripoli.

7.25pm: Earlier on Tuesday, Al Jazeera spoke to Yasmine, a Libyan student in the UAE. She said she had spoken to a friend who lives in Benghazi:

As we were speaking, she said there was an old lady that just walked out onto her balcony that was immediately shot at and died. She didn't do anything, she didn't protest, she didn't even open her mouth and she was shot immediately.

People are very very scared and they are still out in the streets protesting because everybody is angry and they are fed up and they want a change and they don't want this guy to lead the country anymore, neither him or his sons, nobody wants them anymore.

They have been suffering for 43 years in silence. this is out of fear and now they have had enough. They are angry they are willing to risk everything, their lives, absolutely everything to get this guy out of the country.

7.21pm: Ashur Shamis a Libyan journalist told Al Jazeera that Gaddafi will go down fighting. He saidthere was no way the Libyan people would take note of Gaddafi's speech. "I don't think people are frightened anymore, but those were serious threats of force," he said.

In his speech, Gaddafi said "when they are prosecuted they will be begging for mercy".

7.19pm: All eyes are now on the Libyan military. Will we see another situation as we did in Egypt? Tonight?

7.18pm: He offered a new constitution, to be put in place from tomorrow.  Offers the pople "whatever form of government they want".

7.16pm His main point was an attempt to blame "drugged youth" and foreign imperialists.  He used the chilling example of the 1989 massacre at Tianenman Square: "The integrity of China was more important than those in Tianenmen Square. 

7.14pm So, he's not stepping down - and will "die a martyr", he says.

7.12pm: Gaddafi's speech has finally finished.  He gets his hand kissed by a loyalist and waves to what appears to be about half a dozen senior officers still listening.  State TV now showing thousands of people cheering...

7.07pm: Talking about Gaddafi's address on state television, Ibrahim Jibreel, a Libyan political analyst told Al Jazeera "we just watched a lunatic rant and rave for the last hour and a half".

"There was no substance to this [speech].. There was really no message to this besides the threats".

"The interesting thing is that Libya has no constitution but he has threatened the death penalty for people who fail to follow the constituion," Jibreel said.

6.55pm: Carlos Latuff posted this image of "courageous Libyan people" on Twitpic:

6.52pm: Britain said it planned to send a charter plane to Libya to bring out British nationals and was dispatching a Royal Navy frigate to waters off Libya in case it was needed to help Britons.

6.50pm: French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Tuesday said he was "horrified by the explosion of violence" in Libya.

6.48pm: Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reports from Tunisia that 4000 people crossed the border at Ras Jedir on Tuesday, according to Tunisian border police, the majority of them Tunisians.

6.45pm Social networks were a-buzz during Gaddafi's speech on state television. Here are some responses recorded on Twitter:

Mona Eltahawy @monaeltahawy

The "head of the Popular Revolution" is being overthrown by the real Popular Revolution in #Libya. I love it. #Gaddafi desperation beautiful

Jeel Ghathub @Libyan4life

#Gaddafi doesn't mean dignity

sunnkaa @sunnkaa

#gaddafi wants civil war. he wants #libyans to kill libyans

Shadi Hamid @shadihamid

If there was any doubt before, there is no longer: Qaddafi has unequivocally declared intention to massacre his own ppl #Libya

Libyan Dude @ChangeInLibya

Guys, can you see the irony? What he's telling people to do is what is being done AGAINST HIM... What a madman... #libya #feb17

Ali Abunimah @avinunu

We can laugh, but never forget this is a sinister man who is threatening Libyans with even more massacres if they don't do his bidding.

6.20pm: In his second television address since the start of the current unrest, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says he will not leave Libya and will die a martyr. He criticised 'Arab media', saying it painted an insulting picture of Libyans.

Gaddafi says Libya has resisted Britain and the US previously, and it will not surrender now.

He also said:

Muammar Gaddafi is not the president, he is the leader of the revolution. He has nothing to lose. Revolution means sacrifice until the very end of your life

We challenge America with its mighty power, we challenge even the superpower

Muammar Gaddafi is not a normal person that you can poison.. or lead a revolution against

I will fight until the last drop of blood with the people behind me

I haven't even started giving the orders to use bullets - any use of force against authority of state will be sentenced to death

They are just imitating Egypt and Tunisia

Protesters want to turn Libya into an Islamic state

If you love Muammar Gaddafi you will go out and secure Libya's streets

Watch Al Jazeera's Livestream and follow @AJELive on Twitter.

5.59pm: Muammar Gaddafi gives a speech on Libyan State Television:

Watch Al Jazeera's Livestream for more.

5.49pm: Qassem Najaa, a former Libyan airforce colonel, tells Al Jazeera that the country's army has been oppressed by Gaddafi for years, and is now turning against him.

5.39pm: Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, says international sanctions against Libya will be inevitable if the country's regime continues to put down protests violently.

5.32pm: Libyan soldiers in Tobruk told Reuters news agency that protesters are now in control of the city.

This map, posted on yfrog apparently shows other areas under citizen control:

5.28pm: Libyan anti-government protesters from across the UK have gathered outside Downing St in London. Protesters are angrily calling for Gaddafi to step down. One protester, Mohamed Maklouf,  commented on the "hypocricy" of the West:

They don't care about the Arabs, they don't care about the Libyans, they only care about the oil."

5.17pm Al Jazeera's Cal Perry reports from Malta that the Italian navy is monitoring a Libyan naval vessel stalled in waters just off the coast of Malta. There are possible allegations that the vessel may have defected. More details are being sought.

"Malta has become a departure point and entry point for people trying to flee Tripoli [Libya's capital]," Perry said, "As the situation develops, it's also becoming a place perhaps where we'll see more and more Libyan officials coming here to defect, because it's just geographically close."

5.08pm The Italian Foreign minister has condemned the events in Libya, saying: "I strongly deplore, all violence against the demonstrators and the deaths of civilians in Libya".

I call for, as does the Council of the European Union, an immediate end to the use of force against the demonstrators. And I underscore that the Libyan authorities must respond, through dialogue, to the legitimate aspirations and demands for reform voiced by the people. A dialogue that must be open, full, significant and national, and which must lead to a constructive future for the country and for its people.

The country's defence minister, Ignazio La Russa, has also denied the news reported on some blogs and social networking sites of alleged raids by Italian fighter planes in Libya. He said:

I can deny the allegations in the firmest manner. Somebody is clearly not aware of the ethics of the  Italian Government and  Armed Forces

4.58pm: Ibrahim Jibreel, a Libyan political analyst, spoke told Al Jazeera the international community needs to take active steps in protecting the rights of the Libyan people.

"[Gaddafi] needs to feel the heat from the international community in one way or another," he said.

He added that a no-fly zone around Libya was a good thing, but it was not enough. "We need troops on the ground to protect the people, and also to record what is happening on the ground."

4.52pm: Libya's side of the border with Egypt is in the hands of anti-government protesters. Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal at Sidi Barani, a town on the Egyptian side of the border reports that hundreds of Egyptians living in Libya continue to flee the country.

4.44pm Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is expected to speak shortly. Watch Al Jazeera's Livestream for more.

4.25pm Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, spoke to Al Jazeera about the recent events in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, saying:

The events in each country have been up to the people of that country ...

From the standpoint of determining their own future, of meeting their needs in the future, that is principally up to the people in each country".

He added:

The US, as every country throughout the world,  would look to how to engage to see how we can support this kind of change in a way that is meaningful, but it is up to the people of the country to make the decisions about their own future.

4.11pm Twitter user Carlos Latuff posted this image of Gaddafi "drowning in the blood of martyrs" on Twitpic:

3.50pm Mona Rishmawi, legal adviser to UN High Commissioner on Human Rights,  told Al Jazeera they were extrememly concerned by allegations of the use of "hired guns" against civillian protesters in Libya. She said intergovernmental bodies must show a united front and send a clear message that what is going on in Libya must stop right now.

Rishmawi added:

Any measures taken to protect the civillians in Libya are very important at this stage ... if there are planes, if there are snipers, if there are civillians being killed indiscriminately.. it has to stop.

... Allegations of gross violations of human rights, allegations of crimes against humanity are extremely serious.. I think it is very important for this situtaion to stop now.

3.40pm The Arab League is to hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, to discuss the unrest in Libya. Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo, said Amr Moussa, the League's secretary-general, expressed concern about recent events, saying the Libyan people have a right to sk for regime change.

The Arab League is made up of leaders from other countries, some of which are also experiencing unrest, including Yemen, Algeria and Bahrain. Tadros noted:

It will be interesting to see exactly how they word that bit of the statement regarding regime change.

3.38pm Sources have told Al Jazeera that the bombing from warplanes on Monday had targeted ammunition depots in Libya. The aim was to apparently stop protesters getting hold of weapons.

3.26pm Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington DC, said there is "widespread horror among the Libyan diplomatic core" about what is currently happeninig in the country, with many resigning and some even calling the government's actions "genocide".

Speaking about the resigned diplomats, Jordan said:

Certainly while they have been stepping aside from their official government roles, it is not clear whether or not they would be able to have any impact on events inside Libya, because if they are saying they now represent the people and not the Gaddafi government, it may very well be difficult for them to try to mobilise any sort of action on behalf of the people, other than from the images we have been seeing on television

3.01pm Libya's ambassador to the United States has resigned from what he calls a "dictatorship" regime.

The Reuters news agency reported amabssador Ali Aujali, speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” saying:

Let me start by saying that I resign from serving the current dictatorship regime, but I will never resign from serving our people until their voices reach the whole world, until their goals are achieved

2:47 pm A YouTube video uploaded today shows Benghazi "after the victory against Gaddafi": 

2:11 pm The first report from the Egyptian border with Libya by Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal:

2:01 pm Robert Fisk of the UK Independent has written up a colourful political obituary for Gaddafi's 42-year reign as Libya's leader. In it, he expresses hope that the fall of the "mad dog" will open up the regime's archives in Libya and give us all new insight into various shadowy episodes in the country's history, among -them: The Lockerbie and the 1989 UTA Flight 722 plane bombings; weapons sales to the Irish Republican Army; the assassination of political opponents abroad; and the "grotesque deportation" of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi - one of the supposed Lockerbie bombers whose release by Scotland was marred by alleged links to oil deals.

1:41 pm Two Egyptians in Libya have died as a result of the country's violent uprising, Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reports. The paper says the two have been "confirmed dead," though it doesn't say by whom; it adds that a member of an aid convoy -a physician - was told by Egyptians coming from Libya that 10 otthers had been killed.

Pressure on foreigners has increased since Saif Gaddadi, the leader's son, railed against foreign influence, including Western colonialism and "brothers in Arab countries drinking coffee" who were watching Libya destroy itself.

1:26 pm Within the past half-hour, Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal arrived at Sidi Barani, a town on the Egyptian side of the border with Libya, a little more than 500km east of  Benghazi, the site of some of the biggest anti-regime protests and worst violence. Libyan emigrants have "rushed" to his crew to share memory sticks full of pictures and video from recent days. "There is clearly a horrific story to be told," Elshayyal says.


1:19 pm Navi Pillay, the UN human rights chief, has called for the "immediate cessation of grave human rights violations committed by Libyan authorities". Citing reports of the use of machine guns, snipers and military planes against civilian protesters, she also called for an independent, international investigation into the killings that have wracked the country for days.

"The callousness with which Libyan authorities and their hired guns are reportedly shooting live rounds of ammunition at peaceful protestors is unconscionable," she said.

12:45 pm Given the rumours about Muammar Gaddafi's location - UK Foreign Secretary William Hague suggested at one point that he might be heading to Venezuela - there was some speculation over whether Gaddafi's strange appearance on state television in Tripoli last night was, well, actually in Tripoli last night.

Several Twitter users with contacts in Libya confirmed to us that it had been raining in the Libyan capital; in the video, it's raining, and Gaddafi uses the precipitation as an excuse to not go visit protesters in Green Square.

But what of the semi-destroyed building behind Gaddafi? You'd assume that a repressive leader of 42 years who's using great violence to maintain his hold on power would want to project an air of imperviousness, right?

But this is Gaddafi, a man who reputedly keeps a squad of virgin female guards on hand. The consensus seems to be that the building behind Gaddafi in the "speech" is one the structures damaged in US bombings in the 1980s. According to La Razon, a Spanish newspaper, it's a former residence in Tripoli that was bombed in 1986 and has since been turned into a museum called the "House of Strength".

12:09 pm There was a large protest at the Libyan embassy in London last night - a location with a history of confrontation and violence. A protester there apparently managed to gain access to a roof, take down the all-green Libyan flag and replace it with the tri-color flag - adopted by protesters - that Libya used after gaining independence in 1951. Now we have video of that moment:


11:37 am Many eyewitness in Tripoli have reported extreme violence in the past 48 hours: Fighter jets bombarding and heavily armed mercenaries using high-caliber, perhaps even anti-aircraft guns on protesters. So far, though, almost no images or videos have emerged of the attacks. just posted what they say are a few pictures of Tripoli on Monday. Here's one of a burned-out "Public Hall":


11:26 am Ali al-Essawi, the resigned Libyan ambassador to India, has told Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri that he is afraid to return to his country. He has confirmed the use of fighter aircraft on civilian protesters and said foreign mercenaries from what appear to be African countries are "massacring" his people.

11:17 am An intriguing story out of Bangladesh: A. H. Elimam, Libya's ambassador to that country, has dropped out of sight following his resignation late last night. Nicolas Haque, our correspondent there, says that he last spoke to Elimam at around 9 am local time and that there was "a sense of panic" in his voice. Elimam told Haque that he might not be able to do an interview they had scheduled for later today and gave him an email address to use if he turned off his phone, which he has done.

The Bangladesh foreign ministry and other diplomats in the country say they can't confirm Elimam's whereabouts. Sources have told Haque that Elimam felt threatened by an intelligence officer in the Libyan embassy - one of the four staffers there and a man who apparently came from the same village as Muammar Gaddafi. Elimam was also concerned about the safety of his family in Libya, Haque said.  

11:09 am Former British Foreign Minister Lord David Owen tells us that he believes a "military intervention" in the form of a no-fly zone is an immediate necessicity in Libya. 

10:50 am Carlos Latuff, a provocative cartoonist who often focuses on Arab and Arab-Israeli politics, has come out with this, a reference to the treatment of protesters in the past 24 hours:

10:21 am Andrew Solomon, a journalist who has written on Libya previously, published a new piece in the New Yorker magazine called "How Qaddafi Lost Libya". Some selections from Solomon's analysis of Gaddafi's "strategic errors":

-Retreating from his son's "plans for reform". Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was an asbolute failure at introducing progress on the economy and communications infrastructure, but the plans gave people hope.

-Hoarding the wealth. Despite Libya's oil-fed prosperity and small population (six million), Gaddafi failed to fulfill "even the most basic government obligations".

-Ignoring the youth bulge. A third of the population is under 15, but Gaddafi made no effort to reach out to them or ameliorate youth unemployment.

10:09 am Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri files our first report from the border with Libya:

10:02 am Israeli president Shimon Peres, who is in Spain, said on Monday that it was "an irony of history" that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi recently called for "a Middle East without Israel" but that it now appeared that "there will be a Libya without Gaddafi". Officially, the Israeli government has had no reaction to the violent revolt in Libya.

9:44 am Nazanine Moshiri is now reporting for us from the Tunisia-Libya border, near Ras Ajdir, around 175km west of the capital, Tripoli. She reports that Libyan border police are still present - we hear they are absent in the east - and are taking telephones and money from people crossing into Tunisia, "leaving people with only their clothes".

9:43 am Here's a newly established website to memorialize victims of Libya's violence (similar to one set up for the uprising in Egypt): It counts 57 dead so far, almost all without photographs, some of them unknown.

9:34 am The International Coalition Against War Criminals, a collection of non-profit organizations formed in 2009 to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has reported 519 deaths, 3,980 wounded and at least 1,500 missing in Libya since the start of demonstrations last week.

9:26 am Reuters: Egypt will reinforce its border with Libya with "border guards" and will open the crossing at the northwestern town of Saloum for "sick and injured," the country's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has announced.  

9:23 am Folks on Twitter point us to a Time magazine article on Libya from this past April:

In the latest sign of change, the first U.S. ambassador to Libya in 37 years hosted 100 Libyan women at his house one February evening for the first American cultural event in decades. American singers shimmied across the stage in tight dresses, belting out Broadway show tunes like "All That Jazz" and "New York." "For years this place was Slumberland," says Sami Zaptia, a Libyan business consultant in Tripoli. "Now everyone wants to get on the Libya gravy train."

9:12 am Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports from Cairo that as of midnight, around 4,000 Egyptians had returned from Libya through Saloum, in the northwest corner of Egypt.  

9:03 am We just spotted this seven-minute video, allegedly of fighting in the streets of Tripoli on Sunday night after the speech by Saif Gaddafi, the leader's son. The description says that youths who tried to burn a picture of Muammar Gaddafi near Green or Martyrs' Square were dispersed by gunfire, and you can certainly hear extremely heavy firing in the clip.

Thousands of protesters reportedly took the square on Sunday night before being confronted by Gaddafi supporters and armed troops; some witnesses on the ground say hundreds were killed in the ensuing violence. In the clip, you can hear the men yelling repeatedly "There is no God but God" and "God is great" to encourage themselves:

8:30 am As we discuss the kind of ammunition being used against Libyan protesters, here's a video allegedly of a sniper operating in Tripoli last night:

And another video, one of the clearest yet, showng the alleged "mercenaries" who are controlling security in Tripoli at the moment. Numerous Libyans in the country and abroad - including resigned officials - have said that the armed men have been brought in by Gaddafi's regime and paid to attack civilian protesters. Those sources frequently describe the troops as "Africans" who come from bordering countries Chad and Niger:

8:20 am There have been multiple reports out of Libya that security forces there are using "high caliber" or "anti-aircraft" weapons against civilian protesters. We've seen video of Libyans holding spent rounds, both large and small, comparing the two for cameras. To get a sense of what high caliber really means, look at this photo:

The round second from right is standard 5.56mm - of the type used by NATO forces, as the photo illustrates. The round on the far left is .50 caliber and has reportedly been used against protesters. Sources in Tripoli who have spoken with doctors in the capital also said some believe explosive rounds are being used.

One blogger noted: "I had a discussion with my brother, who’s currently training in the police academy, about weapons that law enforcement/the military uses.  Do you want to know what police departments who even have these bullets use them for? Immobilizing vehicles and shooting through walls ... These bullets are designed to shred things much tougher than the human body."

7:40 am We've been told that the UN Security Council will have "informal consultations" regarding Libya at 9:00 am local time in New York City, beginning in around eight hours.

7:28 am CNN's Ben Wedeman, a Cairo-based reporter who covered the uprising in Egypt, is the first international journalist known to enter Libya. In an article posted last night, Wedeman describes the scene after entering through the border with Egypt:

"Your passports please," said the young man in civilian clothing toting an AK-47 at the Libyan border.

"For what?" responded our driver, Saleh, a burly, bearded man who had picked us up just moments before. "There is no government. What is the point?" He pulled away with a dismissive laugh.

On the Libyan side, there were no officials, no passport control, no customs.

I've seen this before. In Afghanistan after the route of the Taliban, in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Government authority suddenly evaporates. It's exhilarating on one level; its whiff of chaos disconcerting on another.

7:24 am Maryam Elomani, a protester in Tripoli who is also a fifth-year medical student, tells us this morning that she was present at a hospital when dead and injured - all 17 to 34 years old - arrived last night. All injuries were in the head, chest or spine, she said, but she added that the streets of Tripoli are quiet at the moment.

Elomani, like many others, described the security forces firing on protesters as "Africans" - foreigners from outside Libya.

7:07 am Libya's deputy UN ambassador has called on the longtime ruler to step down. The Libyan ambassador to the US says he can no longer support Gadhafi; the ambassador to India plans to resign, and the ambassador to Bangladesh has quit to protest the killing of family members by government troops.

6:55 am More than 1,000 Chinese construction workers in the eastern city of Ajdabiyah were forced to flee after gunmen stormed their compound, stealing computers and luggage, the company and state media said.

6:51 am  A resident of east Tripoli tells AFP over the phone:

It's definitely the end of the regime. This has never happened in Libya before. We are praying that it ends quickly
6:37 am Khalid Alkhalifa, the foreign minister of Bahrain, uses Twitter to express his views on the violence in Libya. Bahraini security forces last week killed pro-reform protesters who were demonstrating in the island nation's capital.

What is happening in #Libya is senseless , ruthless brutality against innocent people .. God help them.

6:31 am More than 200 very vocal protesters are demonstrating at the Libyan embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The Libyan Ambassador says he has realigned himself with the people of Libya and is supporting the demonstrators. 

6:22 am Khaled Al Ga'aeem, under-secretary of Libya's foreign ministry, phoned Al Jazeera on Monday night. Here is a translation of the ensuing conversation.

6:14 am UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that he had nearly an hour long telephone conversation with Gaddafi.

As I said extensively to Colonel [Muammar] Gaddafi this morning over the phone, I urged him that human rights and freedom of assembly and freedom of speech must be fully protected. 

This is a fundamental principle of democracy. I sincerely hope that the current situation will be resolved peacefully through dialogue -- a broad-based dialogue involving all the parties concerned.

6:05 am Gaddafi spoke on Libyan state TV early on Tuesday, reportedly from outside his house:

I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Do not believe the channels belonging to stray dogs

5:50 am The UN Security Council will hold a closed-door meeting on Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Libya, diplomats have said.

3:32 am Crowdsourced Googlemap of violence by Gaddafi loyalists against protesters in Libya.

3:18 am
 Photo retrieved via @ammr

3:07 am Hacktivist group Anonymous issues statement in solidarity with Libya protesters.

3:05 am
 A 2009 US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and published today by the Norwegian Aftenposten newspaper asks which of Gaddafi’s sons is best positioned to take over in any power struggle following the end of their father’s rule. Read full cable here.

2:00 am
 A group of Libyan army officers have reportedly issued a statement urging fellow soldiers to “join the people” and help remove Gaddafi from power

  In a statement released by the UN, Ban Ki-moon is said to be “outraged” at reports that Libyan authorities shot at demonstrators from war planes and helicopters.  

Such attacks would constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law

1:40am Libya's deputy ambassador Dabbashi to UN: "No fly zone should be called over Libya"

1:20 am
 Al Jazeera Arabic reports that adverts appear in Guinea and Nigeria offering would-be mercenaries up to US $2000 dollars per day

1:09 am
 Any news of that address by Gaddafi? No. We recommend you stay tuned to our TV stream for the latest news - by clicking here. And if you're in the US, you can Demand Al Jazeera on your cable provider...

1:01am Reports flowing in of protests in solidarity with Libyan anti-Gaddafi activists being organised in London, Berlin, Paris, Washington DC, Cairo, New York City... Check the #Libya tag on Twitter for details in your area

12:59 am Financial Times reports oil groups are preparing to shut down operations in Libya

12:53 am Dozens of students and political activists have been arrested in Zimbabwe for watching Al Jazeera's reports on uprisings in north Africa, reports the New York Times.

12:49 am Reports emerge that BP is preparing to evacuate its employees from Libya. The corporation has major contracts with Libya, the EU's third-largest supplier of oil

12:45 am Regular Al Jazeera contributor Marc Lynch has written this interesting piece, weighing the merits and pitfalls of foreign intervention in Libya. Check it out for yourself here

It is time for the United States, NATO, the United Nations and the Arab League to act forcefully to try to prevent the already bloody situation from degenerating into something much worse.

12:41 am State TV is airing "confessions" by Tunisians in Libya saying they were behind the uprising.

12:34 am Images of bodies gutted in the attacks are too harrowing to be shown. Our colleagues on the TV side of the newsroom have had to pixellate the bloodied bodies, where limbs have been hacked off and torsos maimed. 

12:32 am Saif Gaddafi denies any airstrikes on Libyan cities

12:30 am Further reports that Libyan border guards have abandoned the eastern border with Egypt

12:22 am Deputy FM denies use of mercenaries against Libyan citizens

12:20 am Still waiting for that speech from Gaddafi.

12:17 am Once the Libyan foreign minister comes off air, we'll bring you a translated transcript of the fascinating exchange as soon as possible. Watch this space. Or follow Al Jazeera correspondent Rawya Rageh on Twitter @ who is tweeting about it constantly...

12:15 am Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, issued a statement on Libya:

The world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm.  We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost, and with their loved ones. The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly. Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed. We are working urgently with friends and partners around the world to convey this message to the Libyan government.

12:11 am Al Jazeera Arabic presenter tries to corner Khaled al-Gaeim, deputy foreign minister, to allow the network into the country to report on events there.

If you don't trust our coverage, why are you on air with us now?

Deputy FM: 

I called in to tell you about your dismal coverage, and to say that you do not own the airwaves

12:09 am Libyan deputy foreign minister denies any massacres have occurred in Benghazi or anywhere else in the country.  He then blames Al Jazeera for "inciting strife".

What do you gain from your coverage? More employees?

12:06 am Calls for solidarity protests around the world spread globally across online social networks.

12:03 am Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from Istanbul, says a plane sent earlier today to pick up some of the 25,000 Turkish workers in Libya had to turn back after approaching the country - because there was no-one left in air control facilities

12:01 am Online reports say Darnah city now under attack from "mercenaries".