At least 3000 people turned out in Tripoli on Friday to condemn the NATO airstrikes on the city and show their support for their leader, Muammar Gaddafi. He again said he would remain in Libya, and face death if necessary.
The prime minister also made the announcement that talks had opened with the rebels, although this was denied by the National Transition Council in Benghazi.
There were two main flashpoints in the day’s fighting; around Zlitan where there was a heavy artillery exchange between rebels and Gaddafi loyalists, and Misrata where at least 10 deaths and 40 wounded were reported after the town was shelled in the heaviest fighting since last week.
The rebels have announced they will not enter Zlitan for fear of antagonising tribal sensibilities, but they are recruiting there, and claim hundreds have rallied to their cause and left the city.