There are reports of clashes between anti-government protesters and Gaddafi supporters around the Green Square.
“We are in Tripoli, there are chants [directed at Gaddafi]: ‘Where are you? Where are you? Come out if you’re a man,” a protester told Al Jazeera on the phone.
Libya 17Feb reports that there is gunfire in Tripoli with violent clashes going on now:
URGENT reports are coming in of serious gun fire in Saha Al Khadra from various sources.
In the last few minutes, twitter reports are increasing of intense live fire attacks on the protesters in Tripoli by mercenaries but we’re unable to verify those reports. Many claim the speech was a cover to distract people while Ghaddafi forces launched the attacks – and there are reports of heavy gunfire and potentially many casualties in the Green Square:
Caller: The speech was a decoy, barrage of sniper fire in #Tripoli during the speech. #Libya
Libyans are being massacred by mercenaries NOW in Zawid Dahmani, #Tripoli–#Libya #Feb17, send eyewitness reports to email@example.com
The situation is clearly still chaotic – see this sampling of twitter reports also from Libya 17Feb:
00:00 @nbcnightlynews Eyewitness in #Tripoli: sound of live ammunition coming from within the barricades of #Gaddafi headquarters.
23:56 @7our: Radio Libyan Revolution: “Don’t let him flee, catch them all, all the (Gaddafi) gang !”.Witness: 3/4 of Tripoli is in our hands.
23:55 @ShababLibya: BREAKING: TRIPOLI: MARCHING IN THE STREETS AND CHANTING! We’ll have a Free Libya soon,
23:50 @LibyayaLibya: Massive attacks front of Bab Alziiza #Tripoli. Snipers shooting at unarmed civilians.
23:49 @ShababLibya: it is confirmed by a few sources the warfala tribe is begining to rise, they are a big tribe covering east and west
23:46 @LibyanThinker: News! Police stations in #Tripoli are being burned down.
23:32 @Tripolitanian: Gunfire in hay-Alandalus and Girgarish
23:30 @ElGeryani: confrimed! baba el azeziya surrounded by the people!
23:26 @ChangeInLibya Reports that mercenaries have set fire to two of the biggest supermarkets in #tripoli tonight – from one of the supermrkt owners himself
23:24 @ShababLibya Qaradawi is urging all of libya to take to the streets, this had a huge effect in egypt and it will do now in #Libya#Feb17
23:15 @AJELive: “there is a white mitsubishi lancer … they are shooting at people randomly” doctor in Tripoli tells @AJELive
23:13 @AJELive: More news coming in: a resident of the upmarket suburb Benashour in Tripoli says she can hear gunshots and sounds of clashes #Libya
23:01 @azadessa he estimates that there are around 7000 in Tajoura, and perhaps 8000 in sog el jumaa #libya (he is a doctor)
Al Jazeera reports very bad news for Gaddafi:
Meanwhile the head of the Al-Zuwayya tribe in eastern Libya has threatened to cut off oil exports unless authorities stop what he called the “oppression of protesters”, the Warfala tribe, one of Libya’s biggest, has reportedly joined the anti-Gaddafi protests.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Shaikh Faraj al Zuway said: “We will stop oil exports to Western countries within 24 hours” if the violence did not stop. The tribe lives south of Benghazi, which has seen the worst of the deadly violence in recent days.
Akram Al-Warfalli, a leading figure in the Al Warfalla tribe, one of Libya’s biggest, told the network: “We tell the brother (Gaddafi), well he’s no longer a brother, we tell him to leave the country.” The tribe lives south of Tripoli.
And new reports are coming in that the Tuareg are also joining the opposition to the dictator.
A number of Libyan diplomats have resigned:
Libya’s ambassador to China, Hussein Sadiq al Musrati, has just resigned on air with Al Jazeera Arabic. He called on the army to intervene, and has called all diplomatic staff to resign.
Libyan envoy to Arab League quits and ‘joins revolution’ according to Al Jazeera Arabic. It is reported that he has resigned in protests in what he calls a massacre against the Libyan people.
Hospitals continue to report large numbers of casualties with Benghazi reporting 50 just since Sunday afternoon. Earlier today, a doctor speaking with the BBC from Al Jallah hospital in Benghazi reported that most of wounded are shot in chest – yesterday 128 serious injuries at his hospital, 176 from another, 8 from another and one hospital not reporting – all bullet wounds in chest or abdomen from large caliber weapons.
He also reported that people were riding in army tanks holding weapons from army with the army has mainly gone over to the people but one brigade that is Qaddafi’s personal guard had been holding out and mercenaries are still in the streets. Latest reports are that Benghazi is completely in the hands of the people and they are celebrating. You can see a video from the streets of the city at the facebook page of the “Libyan Youth Movement.”
A doctor calling Al Jazeera just a short while ago reported that while the casualties were high, with 300 dead since the start of the revolution in Benghazi alone, the people are proud that they have come together to throw off Ghaddafi’s control of their city.
There is a webcam set up in Benghazi which at time provides a livestream from the street outside the courthouse – you can check it here.
Meanwhile, the response from the White House remains virtually nil. Activists are calling for the US and Europe to freeze Libyan accounts to block Ghaddafi’s access to funds to pay mercenaries but western countries appear unwilling to take any action to help protect the people being massacred. Sec. Clinton, on ABC’s This Week was inane. Along with comments about the danger of the revolutions possibly repeating the outcome in Iran after the Shah was deposed,:
Mrs. Clinton gave little indication of the specific steps Washington was undertaking, other than stepping up use of the social media which fomented this year’s uprisings. The State Department, she observed, has Twitter accounts in Arabic and Farsi.
In Iran and the Arab world, “we want them to hear directly from us what our policies are. We want to use it to rebut some of the falsehoods and accusations that, unfortunately, are made against the United States,” Mrs. Clinton said. “But mostly we want to be in the mix with this incredible, young, energetic population that is seeking the same rights to express themselves as young people in the United States seek.”
Perhaps this explains the repeated tweets from State Department spokesman P J Crowley whose latest include:
#Libya continues to restrict outside communications but it cannot hide the mounting death toll as it cracks down on peaceful protesters.
#SecClinton discussed the situation in #Bahrain with #Saudi FM Prince Saud. They agreed to support Bahrain’s dialogue with all its citizens.
Not exactly messages to either strike fear in a dictator who is massacring citizens nor comfort to the people of Bahrain who certainly do not want Saudi involvement as they work to bring about change.