More than 60 people are reported to have been killed in Libya’s capital Tripoli over the last few hours as Muammar Gaddafi’s regime clamps down on a growing anti-government revolution.
If confirmed it would take the number of dead since the uprising began to well over 300.
Demonstrators in Benghazi said an army unit swapped sides to join them, helping the protesters take control of much of the city. And the Libyan justice minister has resigned in protest at the “excessive use of violence” against demonstrators.
Gaddafi’s son went on TV on Sunday night to warn that the government would fight the revolt to the ‘last man standing.’
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi said Libya is not like Egypt nor Tunisia. “Libya consists of tribes and clans,” he said. “It’s not a society with political parties and so on. It’s tribes and clans. Everyone knows their duties. This could cause civil war and we will repeat the civil war of 1936.”
Despite a very visible show of support for Gaddafi, his hold on power appeared to be faltering in what is proving to be among the bloodiest of the current uprisings in north Africa and the Middle East.
There are claims that a police station has been torched in Tripoli. And a Libyan newspaper is reporting that protests have broken out in Ras Lanuf, the site of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex.
A coalition of Libyan Islamic leaders has issued a fatwa, telling Muslims it is their ‘duty’ to rebel against the Libyan leadership and calling for the liberation of all jailed protesters.