Libya revolt as it happened: Sunday

BBC News Coverage

Latest BBC coverage of Middle East unrest

  • The United Nations has voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime in response to "gross and systematic violation of human rights" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters
  • The UN says more than 100,000 people have fled across the borders with Tunisia and Egypt in the past week and that a major humanitarian crisis is developing
  • The Royal Air Force has flown 150 foreign oil workers to Malta and efforts are taking place to rescue the estimated 300 Britons still stranded in Libyan oil fields
  • The centre of the town of Zawiya has been captured by anti-Gaddafi forces, and attempts are being made to form an anti-Gaddafi administration in the city of Benghazi
  • Elsewhere in the region, at least two people have been killed during rare protests in Oman and in Tunisia, the Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has resigned
  • You can also follow events on BBC Arabic
  • Live page reporter: Anna Jones and Alexandra Fouché
  • All times in GMT

1800 That concludes the BBC's live coverage of another dramatic day in Libya. The "Brother Leader" Col Gaddafi remains in power of a kind, but his support base appears to be dwindling rapidly. Thousands of people are still fleeing the country. Please stay with the BBC News website for all the latest updates on Libya and other world events.

1755 The BBC's Jeremy Bowen reports from Zawiya on the regime-organised press trip which instead of promoting an image of calm, made it clear the town was no longer under the regime's control.

1750 At a press conference, the newly formed National Libyan Council in Benghazi said its aim was to be a "political face" for the revolution. "We will help liberate other Libyan cities, in particular Tripoli through our national army, our armed forces, of which part have announced their support for the people," said spokesman Hafiz Ghoga.

1746 ICRC says it is "very concerned" about western Libya, a region it has so far been unable to reach.

1738 The Telegraph's Nick Meo has visited some of the alleged mercenaries in a filthy prison in Libya. "Most looked dazed. Some were virtually children," he writes.

e-mail sent in by reader
1733 More on the plight of sub-Saharan Africans in Libya, (see 1205 entry). William Guariento in Glasgow, UK writes: "I spent a month in Misurata, Libya in November. I was struck by the number of sub-Saharan Africans. Since hearing the many stories of 'African mercenaries', I have worried about these people. Who will protect them? If they don't speak Arabic, who will be able to distinguish them from the foreign soldiers that Colonel Gaddafi is said to be employing to shore up his regime?"

1731 Libya's former Interior Minster Gen Abdel Fattah Younes al-Abidi, who defected last week, has told Al-Arabiyah that a "massive" pro-Gaddafi army convoy is heading towards Misrata. The town has no means to defend itself, he says, warning of a "real massacre".

1730 "We hear that surgeons and orthopaedic specialists are needed in Benghazi's hospitals, as well as medicine for patients suffering from chronic illnesses," said ICRC spokesman in the city, Simon Brooks.

1729 Doctors in Benghazi have told the International Committee of the Red Cross that 256 people were killed in the city and 2,000 injured, AFP reports.

1725 Commenting on the cash the regime is handing out to Libyan people, Libyan Dude tweets: "Love it, my aunt says she went, took the 500LYD [Libyan Dinar], and went to buy medicines and food for all the neighbours.. LOL at Gaddafi's bribe money."

1724 The BBC's main news story on Libya contains a detailed map of where clashes are taking place and of which side is controlling which areas.

1716 Ian Pannell says news of the revolt is spreading by word of mouth in the western region. "These aren't the Facebook generation, these are die-hard rural Libyans who want their country united as one, with Tripoli as the capital and with everyone enjoying the same equal rights and the prosperity the country clearly has."

1714 People are feeling buoyant, says our correspondent. "Of course nobody wants any loss of life but they feel this is a fight to the bitter end and now is their moment. The whole idea of going back to how they were before is completely unpalatable," he says.

1712 The BBC's Ian Pannell is in western Libya. He says anti-Gaddafi forces helped them across the border and that the regime's troops are nowhere to be seen.

1708 Mr Lieberman tells CNN the US must "give them the wherewithal to fight on behalf of the people of Libya against a really cruel dictator".

1700 Two prominent US senators, John McCain and Joe Lieberman, have told CNN the US should be offering military aid to the emerging provisional government.

1658 But Ms Alliot-Marie has again insisted that she has done nothing wrong. She was on holiday in Tunisia in December as the anti-government protests were mounting.

1655 In a sign of how wide the reach of these protests have been, AFP is reporting that French foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie has resigned - she had come under heavy domestic criticism for her connections to the former Tunisian regime of Ben Ali.

1651 The Guardian has put together a powerful gallery of pictures from across Libya.

1648 CNN reporter Ben Wedeman tweets: "Food supplies not reaching Benghazi because of unrest. City has two month's reserves. Benghazi businessmen feeding thousands of South Asian, African migrant workers waiting to be evacuated."

1642 A reminder that there is extensive information about Libya and the wider region on the BBC's Middle East and Arab unrest special report page.

1638 Feb 17 voices tweets: "Report from #Tripoli: City is isolated, surrounded by tanks, especially on western border. People can not enter or leave city."

1636 The group Libyan Youth Movement tweet: "Tripoli is and will be the capital of Libya, any talk of a 'Libyan' government on hold until Tripoli liberated."

1634 France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud has said the unanimous decision to refer Libya to the Human Rights Council will have an impact beyond this particular crisis. "It is a warning to all the leaders who could be tempted to use repression against what I have called this wind of change, this wind of liberty," he said.

1628 Mr Sawalem says the protesters were "without a doubt" inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt. "The people in Libya knew that this is the moment. If this didn't happen now it wasn't going to happen again. They know we deserve this more than anyone else."

1626 "You've seen the determination of people inside and how much they want this change," says Mr Sawalem. "It's been 42 years of oppression. There is no going back because this regime has to go."

1623 Ahmed Sawalem of the Libyan Youth Movement, which has emerged amid the unrest, tells the BBC "people are wanting this change to happen" but that they don't want to see foreign intervention.

1613 The BBC's Paul Moss in Tunis says PM Ghannouchi's resignation is exactly what the Tunisian crowds had been demanding. "As the news spread, people have been taking to the streets chanting and singing of victory but police are still rounding up protesters and in some cases beating them savagely with clubs and sticks. The situation here remains tense."

1609 Mrs Clinton is heading to Geneva for Monday's meeting of the Human Rights Council. It is a scheduled meeting but will be dominated by debate on how to respond to the Libyan crisis.

1606 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the US is prepared to offer "any kind of assistance" to Libyans seeking to oust Col Gaddafi, AFP reports.

1600 Some news from Egypt now, where President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in January. Amr Moussa, president of the Arab League, has said he intends to run for president in elections, the Mena news agency reports.

1559 A protest had been scheduled for Shanghai today but hundreds of police were on the streets to block it. Our correspondent says he and his cameraman were roughly detained by police and told they needed special permission to film there.

1557 The BBC's Damian Grammaticas is in southern China, and says the government has clearly been spooked by the outbreak of pro-democracy protests to the west. There have been calls for a "jasmine revolution" in China, but the authorities have acted swiftly to crush any attempts at public meetings.

1550 More from Hillary Clinton, who is currently en route to Geneva for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. "We are reaching out to many different Libyans in the east as the revolution moves westward there as well. It is too soon to see how this is going to play out," she tells reporters.

1549 NBC's Richard Engel tweets: " Govt still claiming rebels drugged. TV Report claims pills from China." Last week, Col Gaddafi said young people were being manipulated and given "hallucinatory drugs" to make them take to the streets.

1542 If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of another dramatic day across the Middle East and North Africa. As well as the fast-moving events in Libya, at least two people have been killed in Oman and in Tunisia, PM Mohammad Ghannouchi has resigned after only six weeks in office.

1539 There is some disagreement on social media about whether the word "rebel" should be used to describe the anti-Gaddafi movement. Some dislike it but Ali Hocine Dimerdji tweets: "Dear Libyan tweeps, the term Rebel is a positive term. You should be proud to be called that."

1537 We're just hearing from the US that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said Washington is reaching out to the opposition groups in eastern Libya, where Col Gaddafi now has limited, if any, control.

1536 More from the BBC's Paul Moss in the Tunisian capital Tunis. He says the streets have been full of tear gas. "As far as these people are concerned, the revolution here is unfinished business."

1534 Earlier, we reported on outbreaks of violence in Oman. The BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones is in the region and says few would have predicted the rulers there would fall victim to this unprecedented wave of unrest. "But Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said , who has been in charge for over 40 years, now knows that his government is not immune," he says.

1524 The BBC's Mark Dummet is in Kochi in India, where workers are arriving home from Libya. The Indian government is sending two planes a day to collect them. "States like Kerala rely on the remittances sent back by millions of migrants working in Arab countries, and this is now an extremely anxious times for all their families."

1520 For more information on the Tunisian resignation, we now have a separate news story - keep checking for update.

1519 Britons who have left Libya under their own steam are being urged to let the FCO know on +44 (0)20 7 008 0000.

1517 The FCO says it believes the "vast majority of British nationals who want to leave have now left Libya, through commercial means". Where people want to stay on, the FCO will "take measures available to assist them".

1516 The British Foreign Office says that as its embassy in Libya has been temporarily closed, the Turkish embassy is now representing British interests in the country.

1511 Our correspondent Paul Moss is in the Tunisian capital, Tunis. Earlier, he described "very ugly scenes" in Tunisia, with police beating protesters who had gathered there.

1510 Back to Tunisia, Baki 7our tweets: "The big problem of Ghannouchi's govt was its lacking of any legitimacy. Elections soon ?"

1509 Libyan Youth Movement tweets: "Reports coming from Sebha of unrest will try to confirm soon."

1503 Tunisia is where the unrest began in earnest back last year, after a young vegetable trader set himself on fire in protest at his standard of life. The unrest quickly escalated and protesters across the country focused their anger on Mr Ben Ali, who had been in power for 23 years. He resigned, and fled the country, on 14 January.

1502 He was speaking at a news conference in Tunis, after making a lengthy speech defending his record in government.

1500 Mr Ghannouchi had taken over when Ben Ali resigned, but the protesters said he was too close to the former leader to be acceptable as the head of the interim government.

1457 We're getting reports from Tunisian state TV that Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has resigned. There have been large protests yet again in Tunisia today, just over month after the people ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

1454 Gaddafi opponents in eastern Libya tell Reuters they have formed a National Libyan Council - this is not an interim government, they say, but the face of the revolution.

1451 People in Zawiya have told the BBC's Jeremy Bowen that the government forces have attacked them a few times, but have been unable to break through into the town centre, which is held by Gaddafi opponents.

1444 The BBC's Mark Dummett in the southern Indian city of Kochi has more on the Indian evacuation: "The first Indian to make it back home was 63-year-old Mohammed Sali. His escape from Libya wasn't a straightforward matter. He explained that as he reached Tripoli airport, he was looted of all his possessions at knife point. Another man said that even as the passengers lined up to collect their tickets, they were robbed of their mobile phones."

1441The Indian government has begun the evacuation of its 18,000 citizens working in Libya. The first special flights, carrying 530 people in all, have landed in Delhi, and a passenger ferry has arrived in the Libyan city of Benghazi to collect others.

1429 Oliver Miles, a former UK ambassador to Libya and now deputy chairman of the Libyan-British Business Council, criticises the UK's decision to close the UK embassy in Libya, because most embassies in Tripoli are remaining properly staffed: "Why have we closed the embassy, when as William Hague said this morning we've got humanitarian aid measures ready on either border - east and west borders of Libya - ready to go? We've still got British subjects in trouble inside Libya, and we've got presumably the prospect. we hope. of some kind of new government, which will immediately need to get in touch with the rest of the world and will need help. And as the French say, 'the absent are always wrong'. We won't be there."

1425 More from the UNHCR's Liz Eyster on the Libyan-Tunisian border: "We're experiencing a bit of a bottleneck in getting the Egyptians back home. There's not enough buses and planes and boats to get people moving. The Tunisian people have mobilised an amazing relief effort - they've been accommodating people in shelters, schools and places of their own. But we're now aware of the fact that they're very much stretched and they need the support of the international community."

1414 Mr Mitchell adds: "Those who have come out so far are by and large migrant workers, not Libyans. But we have in Dubai a large amount of stores which are at six hours' notice to fly in to the border areas if Britain can help and assist with that. We don't know precisely where or what will be needed, but it is at six hours' notice to do so."

1411 UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, who spoke to the BBC's Politics Show earlier, said the UK was ready to make a "very significant contribution" in humanitarian aid to Libya if necessary, but pointed out there wasn't a humanitarian crisis there yet: "We must be careful not to over-state that, but we are making significant plans on both borders to help and protect people who may be coming out."

1407 Feras Kilani adds: "It became very difficult to continue the trip toward Misrata as a result of the large number of checkpoints; so we took a sub-rural road to return to Tripoli and we found the same number of checkpoints until we were about 20km (12 miles) from the capital. This is the image from the centre of Tripoli and east of the city for approximately 56km (35 miles)."

1405 Libyan Dude tweets: "Phones are surprisingly working well today & fast intenet. Called all family, more or less good news from everyone.. all hopeful #libya"

1402 More on the checkpoints BBC Arabic's Feras Kilani was telling us about earlier: "At each checkpoint, there are some soldiers with their Russian Kalashnikov weapons. They search the cars and check passengers' documents, because this is the main road that leads to all the cities of the east. There is also a Russian tank at each checkpoints [on the] side of the road and an armed vehicle with an anti-aircraft machine gun on the other side."

1355 More from the UNHCR's Liz Eyster on the refugee situation: She speaks of a "tsunami of migrants" out of Libya into Tunisia. She said 50,000 were coming over from Libya, about half of them Egyptians, and the immediate aim was to find everyone emergency food and shelter. Tents for 10,000 were on the way to protect people from the bitter cold nights, as well as supplies of high-protein food. The next priority was to move the refugees on from the immediate border area, and boats and planes were being arranged for that, she told the BBC.

1346 More from Feras Kilani who, after Tripoli, headed east on the road to Misrata, passing through some areas that have experienced major disturbances in the past week such as Fashlom and Tajura: "I found all the police stations and the Revolutionary Committees completely burned out, but the rest of the state civilian service centres in the best case, and there are traces of tire fires in the streets, and almost no security deployment till about 32km (20 miles) east of the capital, but after this the military checkpoints start each kilometre."

1338 BBC Arabic's Feras Kilani went on a tour of Tripoli on Sunday morning, and reports the situation there is very calm: "The majority of markets and shops are still closed, but there are hundreds of Libyans gathered in front of each bank to receive financial grant ordered by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to each family and the unemployed."

1328 Ms Eyster said Egypt and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are arranging boats to collect Egyptian nationals, while some 130 Somalis will be flown home on a chartered plane.

1324 UNHCR spokeswoman Liz Eyster, on the Tunisian border, has praised the authorities there for their efforts to accommodate the influx of refugees, and for working with local communities to provide food and shelter. "It's remarkable what they have been able to organise," she told the BBC.

1317 The reporter says there were hundreds of people are queueing in front of banks this morning to collect the money they have been promised by the Gaddafi government.

1316 A BBC reporter in Tripoli say Arabic language news channels are being blocked, including BBC Arabic, Al Arabiyah and Al Jazeera.

1311 The UK Foreign Office says HMS Cumberland will leave Benghazi at around dusk. Britons should get to the port asap, it says.

1308 Earlier, state TV said banks would begin distributing 500 dinars (£250:$400) to every family. It is now reporting that the money is "the beginning of the redistribution of oil wealth to Libyans".

1307 Television pictures have emerged from Zawiya, showing a crowd chanting: "The people want to bring down this regime."

1305 More from Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, who said Col Gaddafi's downfall was inevitable. "When the head of a regime shoots his own people the international community has to react and it has reacted," he said of the UN sanctions.

1304 He told ABC's Christiane Amanpour the country was better off without the "hypocrite" ambassadors who have resigned. "Many of them thought, the ship is sinking so it's better to jump. So I can survive, so I can work with a new regime. So this is a simple trick. And old trick."

1258 Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the most vocal of colonel's sons during the revolt, has denied the freezing of his family' overseas assets will have any effect because, he says, they have none. He told ABC: "We are a very modest family and everybody knows that. They are saying we have money in Europe or Switzerland. Come on. It's a joke."

1256 Downing Street says the fact that people have left via various routes or have been evacuated by other countries means it is extremely difficult to keep track of who is there.

1254 The British government says only a handful of Britons remain in Libya who want to leave. Some Britons have dual nationality or jobs in Libya and want to stay.

1252 The BBC's Jeremy Bowen in Zawiya said the government had been stressing the revolt there was only small, but that the people of the town are saying otherwise. Locals, some of whom are armed, are running the town as a people's republic, he says, providing central food points and caring for migrant workers.

1249 Mr Lowry said the authorities "didn't want to open the gates to let a flood of people through because it was already very crowded and congested on the other side".

1247 Jim Lowry, a spokesman for the Red Crescent on the Tunisian border, has told BBC Newshour there was a huge surge of refugees overnight. "It was immediately a very difficult situation because it got extremely cold here, and a strong wind and rain started to fall. These people were penned in for hours with no food, no water and no sanitation facilities."

1243 Italy's foreign minister says Col Gaddafi's downfall is "inevitable", AFP reports.

1237 Writing in the New York Times, Neil MacFarquhar says if Col Gaddafi leaves, it could result in a dangerous power vacuum in Libya.

1236 Some of the people waiting to leave have said they are not going because they are afraid, but because the country has been paralysed by the unrest, says our correspondent. Some even said they were planning to return within weeks.

1235 The BBC's Kevin Connolly says the UK navy frigate HMS Cumberland has docked in a rainy Benghazi.

1234 Libyan Youth Movement tweets: "We reach the final hours of the final days, as the whole of Libya prepares for the last stand"

1230 The BBC has been hearing people's stories of trying to leave Libya. Read their stories here, or use the page to find out how to send in your own experiences.

1226 The overthrow of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia was one of the events which sparked the whole regional unrest. The protesters now want interim PM Mohammed Ghannouchi to resign, saying he was too close to the ousted leader.

1225 The BBC's Paul Moss in the Tunisian capital Tunis says there are "very ugly scenes" taking place there. Protesters are being subjected to "merciless" beatings from police and plain clothes thugs. He saw one man beaten unconscious before being dragged away by police.

1221 A man in Zawiya told Reuters the town was now "free". "Gaddafi is crazy. His people shot at us using rocket-propelled grenades," he said.

1219 Alan Young, a British oil worker, has arrived in Benghazi after being evacuated from the oil field where he worked. He says the Foreign Office have given very little help. He and his colleagues saw on BBC News that a ship was leaving Benghazi later today, and his company helped them arrange travel to the port.

1214 If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the Libyan revolt against Col Muammar Gaddafi. We're bringing you the latest reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can.

1212 The apparent capture of Zawiya by anti-Gaddafi forces could be vital for their attempts to unseat the colonel. Keep across our full news story for more details as they emerge.

1210 CNN reporter Nic Robertson in Zawiya tweets: "Anti-Gadhafi rally in center of town. Civilians w/guns on rooftops, securing area, fear will be attacked by regime."

1205 One Nigerian man who worked in Libya for several years told the BBC: "I heard that two blacks were killed. Somebody called me from Tripoli [to say] that there were blacks who were killed. We have many Africans in Libya who have not got any means to leave because they are afraid, they are afraid for their lives."

1159 One way Col Gaddafi has hung onto power over the years is by inviting foreign fighters to come to Libya and join his security forces, many of them from sub-Saharan Africa. Public anger has now turned on them, but some people appear not to be distinguishing between the mercenaries and ordinary black Africans workers.

1157 We're also getting more information on the fresh violence in Oman, where a witness says the military has now moved in.

1153 Reports are coming in of fresh clashes in the Tunisian capital Tunis. For background information on the regional upheavals, see the BBC's special report on Middle East and Arab unrest.

1151 The green, white and red flag now being raised by anti-Gaddafi forces used to represent the Kingdom of Libya but is also a sign of the country's independence, gained in 1951.

1146 The old Libyan flag has become the symbol of the protesters throughout the country. Col Gaddafi replaced it with a plain green flag - the world's only single-colour flag - when he came to power.

1141 More on the latest reports from Zawiya. It appears anti-Gaddafi protests broke out while foreign journalists were being taken on an official press visit to the city by the Gaddafi regime.

1138 The Guardian's Martin Chulov tweets: "Fishermen at Benghazi port said 2 boats traveling west hit by missiles filed from Sirte. That rules out Tripoli by sea then."

1136 Reports say the centre of Zawiya is under rebel control, but Gaddafi loyalists are surrounding the city.

1134 The city is about 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli. Reuters says armed anti-Gaddafi forces have seized the city. Crowds are chanting "This is our revolution".

1128 A bit of background on Zawiya, which reports indicate is coming under rebel control. The city has been key during the unrest and in his rambling speech on Thursday, Col Gaddafi had suggested it might be slipping from his grasp.

1125 BBC Monitoring has picked up a report on state TV saying all Libyan families will be given 500 dinar (£250:$400) in financial assistance over the coming days, possibly and attempt to use cash to win back support for the government.

1124"The streets are empty apart from the centre, where hundreds of demonstrators have gathered. They are waving the old Libyan flag. Some of them are armed and are firing in the air. They say they are protesting peacefully but are ready to fight," says our correspondent.

1121 BBC producer Cara Swift, who is part of a government organised convoy in Zawiya, says the opposition in the city is manning barricades in the centre of town and appears to have control of the area.

1119 Mr Nalem says Col Gaddafi is surrounded by die hard loyalists, many of whom have committed crimes themselves. After the UN pledge to pursue human rights abuses in the International Criminal Court, "they know their backs are against the wall and they have nowhere to go," he says.

1118 Libyan analyst Faraj Nalem says there is no way Col Gaddafi will stand down voluntarily now. "He needs a huge move from Libyans outside Tripoli marching on him and making it difficult for him to stay on," he tells the BBC.

1115 Our correspondent says huge amounts of aid are clearly needed to deal with the humanitarian crisis. "Conditions are deteriorating, it's a problem that is multiplying exponentially," he says.

1114 The BBC's Jim Muir on the Tunisian border says getting all the refugees home, mostly to Egypt, is a huge logistical challenge. Many are poor workers who do not have the means to arrange their own travel. "One can forsee them spending days and days, if not weeks, waiting to get home because there are just so many of them," he says.

1112 More from Oman, where police have fired tear gas at protesters. One witness tells Reuters two people were killed as police fired rubber bullets into the crowds.

1111 Channel 4 News's Jonathan Rugman in Libya tweets: "Street demo in Zawiya now. Militia telling me the people not Gaddafi in charge."

1109 The UK Foreign Office tweets: "HMS Cumberland will leave Benghazi at 1500 (Libya time) Brits are advised to get to the port immediately."

1102 This is what Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, said after last night's vote: "The Security Council has come together to condemn the violence, pursue accountability and adopt biting sanctions targeting Libya's unrepentant leadership. This is a clear warning to the Libyan government that it must stop the killing."

1100 AP has been speaking to some Egyptians who have returned home from Libya and say their government is not doing enough to help them. "Every country is sending planes for their people - people are arriving and leaving except for Egyptians. Egypt has not sent anything. There is no fast way to take Egyptians from here, people here are dying from cold, people here are sleeping in the street," said one man.

1056 British Foreign Secretary William Hague told BBC News: The people of Libya have risen up against Colonel Gaddafi. We have here a country descending into civil war, with atrocious scenes of killing of protesters and a government actually making war on its own people. So of course it is time for Colonel Gaddafi to go, that is the best hope for Libya."

1052 Libyan TV says reports of guards abandoning their posts at the Tunisia border are false. State media has routinely been denying reports of unrest in the country.

1050 More now from UNHCR, which believes nearly 100,000 people have fled Libya. It has called on the international community to "respond quickly and generously" to enable Libya's neighbours to cope with the influx of refugees. The agency has also received reports of a "critical shortage of food" within Libya, especially the eastern region.

1045 The BBC's Jon Leyne in Benghazi says an anti-Gaddafi government which contains former members of the regime could face many challenges. "The thing about Colonel Gaddafi's rule is that it was the rule of one man but anybody associated with him is going to be very, very heavily discredited," he says.

1040 Dr Hany El-Banna , the founder of aid agency Islamic Relief, tweets: "Salum border point is overwhelmed with the influx of expatriate workers. Temperature is zero and capacity is minimum. Immigration officer in Salum said "we allowed more than 200,000 horrified people to enter Egypt".

1034 tweets:"V worried about 25 Eritrean refugees hiding in a hole in E. #Libya, living on grass, 3 injured, 2 killed while looking 4 help."

1029 One Libya tweets: "Amongst all this terror #Gaddafi is inflicting on Libyans, the resulting resolve/courage/determination is amazing in #Libya, all 4 freedom."

1027 Clare Brown in southern England, whose husband has been evacuated from Libya, tells the BBC: "The Libyans in Misurata have been so supportive and protective of the foreign workers. They've been protecting them from attack and from looters and making sure they are safe. I'm sure they've gone to great lengths and done so at great person risk."

1019 People in Libya have responding to the UN's resolution against Col Gaddafi. Some have welcomed it but others said it is not needed. "This is a popular revolution. We do not want foreign interference," one man in Benghazi told AP. "Obama is only looking after his own interests and the interests of Europe. We are looking after our own national interest which is to topple Muammar Gaddafi."

1016 The Independent has more information on the telephone call former British PM Tony Blair made to Col Gaddafi last night. Mr Blair told Col Gaddafi that the British government wanted him to stand down, the paper reports.

1014 AP correspondent Hadeel Al-Shalchi tweets: "Got past the #Tunisia border control few meters from #Libya, thousands refugees from #China waiting."

1011 The Oman protesters had gathered for a second day, demanding political reforms, Reuters reports.

1010 In a reminder that the Libyan revolt is part of a huge wave of unrest sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, we're getting reports that police in Oman have fired tear gas on protesters in the city of Sohar.

1006 The BBC's John Simpson in southern Libya says the most optimistic hope now is that the security forces which have deserted Col Gaddafi will stage a march on Tripoli and persuade the remaining loyalists to give up. "That's the hope, whether it comes to it and how long it will take, those are questions we can't really answer at this stage," he says.

1000 UNHCR puts the number of people who have fled to neighbouring countries during the past week at "close to 100,000". Most of them are foreign migrants, the agency says.

0956 The UN's refugee agency says an international aid operation is in place at the Libya-Tunisia border. It has 20 staff and several thousands tents waiting to provide emergency shelter if needed.

0955 In response to rumours that the UK has paid bribes to get planes out, Mr Hague said that the landing and taking off fees at Tripoli airport have rocketed in recent days and that "you have to pay those fees and you have to pay them in cash".

0947 Mr Hague says Britons should contact the Foreign Office to let them know where they are, either if they are still in Libya or have made it out. "We continue to urge British nationals to leave," he says.

0945 UK Foreign Secretary William Hague tells the BBC's Andrew Marr he has revoked the diplomatic immunity of Col Gaddafi and his sons. "So it's very clear where we stand on his status as head of state," says Mr Hague.

0940 Middle East peace envoy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken to Col Gaddafi in the last few days, Labour peer Lord Mandelson tells the BBC. It was under the Blair government that the UK began efforts to improve its relationship with Col Gaddafi.

0936 The Red Crescent says more than 10,000 people crossed the Ras Jedir border post into Tunisia on Saturday. "It is a humanitarian crisis, our capacities to take in people are exhausted, people are sleeping in the open," said the organisations regional president Monji Slim. "I appeal urgently for everyone to help resolve this problem."

0934 Mr Abdel-Jalil resigned his government post last week in protest at the growing violence against Libyan people and has called on Col Gaddafi to stand down.

0930 A member of Benghazi's city council says the cities under anti-Gaddafi control have appointed former justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil as leader of a provisional government, the Associated Press reports.

0928 Our correspondent adds that in areas where people have overthrown the Gaddafi regime, they are delighted but also, after 41 years of repression, they are nervous about what will happen next, fearing Gaddafi supporters could come back.

0920 BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson in southern Libya, says the UN's resolution will have come too late to have any effect on Col Gaddafi. "I don't think Gaddafi and his sons, who are the heart of the whole thing, will even bother to find out what's happening at the UN," he says. "This is a fight to the end. It may not last much longer but it certainly isn't going to be a question of decisions on the part Col Gaddafi or his closest people.

0918 "We have underestimated his desire and will to fight, we have underestimated the desire and staying power of his limited base," Prof Gerges says of Col Gaddafi. "Even though it's a limited base of support, it's die hard."

0914 Prof Fawaz Gerges, a Middle East specialist at LSE, tells the BBC Col Gaddafi will fight "to the bitter end", and that the fight will be "very prolonged".

0911 The Foreign Office has lots more information on what is being done for British nationals in Libya on its website.

0910 The UK Foreign Office tweets: "#Libya Romanian Govt plane leaving Tripoli approx 7pm on Sun 27. Will take Brits if there is space."

0909 The navy frigate HMS Cumberland is on its way back to the port at Benghazi, says our correspondent, offering another chance for Britons and people of other nationalities to get out.

0905 The BBC's Gavin Hewitt is in Malta, where planes have been bringing people evacuated from Libya. He says only a third of the people flown in by the RAF last night were British, leading to questions about what is being done to rescue the remaining Britons in Libya.

0901 More from the Libya-Tunisia border, where border guards are reported to have been deserted. "There have been no Libyan customs officers at Ras Jedir for two days, there is only the army and police who are loyal to Gaddafi," said one official. A Red Cross official told AFP a similar thing had happened at another border crossing at Dahiba.

0900 The EU's Foreign Affairs and Security representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, warns of "consequences" if violence against civilians does not stop, AFP reports.

0856 The Gaddafi regime has faced a stream of defections from the military and police. In addition, several high level members of its diplomatic service have turned their backs on the colonel in the past week, angry about the violence being used against protesters.

0852 The AFP news agency is reporting that Libyan customs officers at the main border with Tunisia have abandoned their posts. Troops loyal to Col Gaddafi are still there, the agency says, citing local officials.

0851 The only question in the end, our correspondent adds, was whether China would vote in favour. But in the end Beijing's ambassador Li Baodong raised his hand along with the other delegates, citing concern for the tens of thousands of Chinese people who had been working in Libya.

0849 More from the UN, which also voted to refer Libya to the International Criminal Court for an investigation into reported atrocities. The BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN says there was intense debate before the ICC vote. "Some member states are worried about setting a precedent that could affect them," she says.

0847 For more information on the background to the violence in Libya and protests in the wider region, take a look at the BBC's special report page on the Middle East and Arab unrest.

0841 The Guardian's Martin Chulov tweets: "Visited military bases on road to central Libya. amount of weapons stolen staggering. These revolutionaries v well armed."

0840 The BBC's Kevin Connolly is in the eastern city of Benghazi, which is now under the control of opponents of Col Gaddafi. There is a degree of political organisation taking place there, he says, but with the capital, Tripoli, and other area still controlled by the Gaddfi regime, "Libya is sliding into a kind of uneasy and very volatile partition".

0835 Speaking at the UN last night, US President Barack Obama said Col Gaddafi had lost the legitimacy to rule and should "leave now".

0834 The UN, which estimates 1,000 people have been killed in the unrest, said the action was being taken in response to "the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including the repression of peaceful demonstrators" and incitement to violence "from the highest levels of the Libyan government".

0832 Overnight, the United Nations voted unanimously to impose an arms embargo on Libya, to freeze the assets of Col Gaddafi and his entourage and to ban them from foreign travel.

0830 Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of events in Libya, where Col Muammar Gaddafi is facing an immense challenge to his four-decade rule. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific