After 10 days of protests in Libya there are few signs of the regime restoring control, even in the capital Tripoli.
Despite Colonel Gaddafi and his loyalists use of deadly force the people appear unbowed, and the regime has been weakened by political and military defections, raising the prospect of a split nation.
It also appears that the revolt is spreading beyond its eastern heartland, with the western towns of Misrata and Zuara now reportedly in rebel hands, according to fleeing Egyptian workers crossing into Tunisia.
They say police stations have been burned down and armed citzens militias along with army defectors now patrol the streets. The revolt has sharply cut the regime’s lifeblood, oil exports, with the major foreign company ENI saying what it is pumping has fallen by 75 percent.
“In the centre of Tripoli, the very centre there are many dead, Tunisians and Egyptians. They leave the injured people to die on the streets. Five of my friends from Tunis have been killed. My friends!” said one man.
Military defectors, including senior army officers in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi have said they are readying to march on the capital if Tripoli cannot manage to liberate itself from the Gaddafi regime.
One French doctor recently returned home from the city says there had been 2000 deaths there alone.