Benghazi: Celebrations are underway in Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi as pro-democracy protesters seeking the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime take control of the city.
Opposition protesters are now in control of major centers in the east, as well as the towns of Misrata and Zuara in the west.
There are also reports that the regime has used poison gas against demonstrators in Misarata.
As the overthrow of Gaddafi’s regime appears imminent, there are fears that his loyalists may sabotage oil terminals which serve as the country’s main source of national income.
Fighting has been reported in Zawiyah, an oil terminal some 50-kilometers from the capital, Tripoli. This is while protesters have taken over oil terminals at Ras Lanuf and Marsa El Brega.
Security forces loyal to Gaddafi have stormed hospitals in Tripoli and executed anti-government protesters that were being treated, reports say.
Gaddafi’s harsh crackdown on peaceful protesters has brought about more defiance among Libyan army officers and diplomats.
A number of high-ranking members of the Libyan army have also resigned and joined the protesters, according to Arab media reports. This is while dozens of Libyan soldiers have reportedly been executed by pro-Gaddafi security forces for mutiny.
Libya’s ambassadors to China, Jordan and the Arab League have resigned from their posts in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters and also in indignation at the killing of civilians in the country.
Gaddafi’s regime is facing mounting international condemnation over its brutal crackdown on demonstrators as the death toll in Libya’s ongoing revolution continues to climb at an alarming rate.
Over one thousand people have been killed and more fatalities are feared as Gaddafi is brutally attempting to crush the revolt.