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As it happened: Libya and Arab unrest on Friday

Col Muammar Gaddafi has been fighting for survival in his remaining strongholds in western Libya, including the capital Tripoli.

  • Anti-government protesters in Tripoli have come under fire with reports of deaths and injuries.
  • A huge operation is continuing to try to evacuate thousands of foreign nationals by land, sea and air, but many remain stranded and insecure.
  • Elsewhere in the region, mass protest rallies have taken place in Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq and Yemen.
  • You can also follow events on BBC Arabic .
  • Live page reporters: Yaroslav Lukov, Michael Dobie and Joe Boyle.
  • All times in GMT

2327That brings to an end our minute-by-minute coverage of the crisis in Libya and the Arab world. Please stay with the BBC News website for all the latest updates on world events.

2322The latest statement from the Committee to Protect Journalist makes grim reading. Robert Mahoney, CPJ's deputy director, says: "The media in the Middle East have long been under pressure from authoritarian governments but what we are witnessing now is a marked escalation in repression."

2314Time Magazine has a picture gallery of stunning images from the east of Libya, chronicling Benghazi's uprising.

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2305 CNN's Ben Wedeman tweets: "Libyan State TV running what looks like a Qaddafi fashion show set to bad music. #Libya"

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2255Libya's UN ambassador, Mohamed Shalgham, has been feeling frisky after denouncing his old friend Col Gaddafi, tweets our UN correspondent Barbara Plett: "#UN #Libya ambo: does "lap of honour" around press stakeout after impassioned speech gets applause from some journos".

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2250On that violence today in Tripoli, Walid Ben Salah tweets: "About 60 were killed today in Tripoli, this is confirmed by the bodies found".

2249 AFP news agency is now reporting that the Libyan ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Shalgham, has defected. At the UN earlier, he had pleaded with Col Gaddafi to end the violence: "They did not throw a single stone and they were killed," Mr Shalgham said. "I tell my brother Gadhafi: Leave the Libyans alone."

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2243 Another tweet from the BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN: "#French UN ambo: no chance of military intervention in #Libya; also no talk of a no fly zone: bad memories from Bosnia"

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2240 The BBC's UN correspondent Barbara Plett tweets: "#UN French ambo waxing lyrical: says Libyan ambo emotional speech "historical moment," shows SC must meet its "rendevous with history".

2234 Zawiya, referred to in the tweet below, is where heavy fighting was reported yesterday. A short while ago, Col Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam said "terrorists" were in the town and that the army had held back in order to give negotiations a chance.

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2231 Cashay tweets: "Guys, pray for the people of Zawiya tonight. They are being attack using Artillery, Anti-Aircraft and scores of mercenaries..".

2228 Mr Hague said the draft resolution "focuses attention on the terrible human rights abuses happening on the ground" and that the UK would continue to press for international action on Libya.

2226 More from UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has welcomed the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Libya. "The message is clear: that there will be a day of reckoning for those guilty of the appalling atrocities. The world will act together to hold them to account," he said in a statement.

e-mail sent in by reader
2222 Frankie Munn writes: "Me and my colleagues are also stuck on Al Jurf field on open sea, company forces us to continue producing oil. Which way to swim? 100 miles to Libya or 200 to Malta. Ships are passing, nobody cares, as long as oil is flowing to Europe."

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2219 Everton Tony tweets: "Top Trends at the moment: Colonel Gadaffi & Cilla Black - what the hell has happened to the world while I've been on vacation?"

2215 Time magazine has an interview with Rahma , a Libyan woman from a family which has "made its opposition to this regime very well known and open". She says Col Gaddafi has appeared "obviously insane" in his recent appearances. "People just hope the rumors that he's sick and in poor health are true, and that he dies quickly so this can end."

2212 Here's a bit more from UN chief Ban Ki-moon's address to the UN Security Council: "Col Gaddafi's supporters are reportedly conducting house-by-house searches and arrests. According to some reports, they have even gone into hospitals to kill wounded opponents... There are other allegations of the killing of soldiers who refuse to fire upon their countrymen."

2208 Julie O'Shea's father, Jim Coyle, is in a camp in Amal Desert, three miles from Benghazi. the British authorities were now "working flat out" to get them home. "It's just frustrating it's taking so long for the ones who are in the desert to get home."


2205 The UN Security Council has now adjourned and will resume deliberations on Libya at 1100 EST(1600 GMT), the BBC's UN correspondent Barbara Plett says.

2203 Ali Tweel in Tripoli tweets: "Pro-Gaddafi still dancing in the roads of Tripoli." Earlier in the day, Col Gaddafi was shown on state TV in Green Square reminding his supporters that: "Life without dignity has no value, life without green flags has no value. Sing, dance and prepare yourselves."

2159 More details have emerged about the violence in Tripoli today. A witness in the city's eastern Tajoura district told AP news agency: "In the first wave of fire, seven people within 10 meters (yards) of me were killed. Many people were shot in the head... It was really like we are dogs."


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2153 Adam Platt in New York has sent us another e-mail: "I work about a block away from the Libyan Consulate by the United Nations in midtown Manhattan. I am surprised every morning now to see that the building is still flying the green flag above it rather than the original Libyan flag that has become the flag of the revolt against Gaddafi."

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2151 With all the reports of elements of Libya's army joining the opposition, Ali Hocine Dimerdji wonders in a tweet: "So for days now we've heard about military brigades defecting. Isn't it time for them to move in on Tripoli".

2148 White House spokesman Jay Carney says Col Gaddafi's legitimacy has been "reduced to zero". The US has shuttered its embassy in Tripoli and the Associated Press says the last US citizens are now out of Libya.

2144 More details from Reuters on what Col Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, said about negotiations with the opposition. He was speaking to foreign journalists in Tripoli under an official escort. Regarding the fighting in the western towns of Misrata and Zawiay he said: "We are dealing with terrorists... The army decided not to attack the terrorists, and to give a chance to negotiation. Hopefully we will do it peacefully and will do so by tomorrow."

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2138 Adam Platt in New York writes: "Have a friend stuck in a remote camp in Zuetina 103 D, keeping in touch via Skype although that is harder and harder to do (signal is getting weaker). Situation is becoming critical."

2135 Reuters also has details of the French-British draft UN resolution against Libya. It says that "the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in Libya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity."

2130 Meanwhile, Col Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam has said the army has been holding back and that he hopes for a peaceful settlement "by tomorrow", Reuters reports.

2128 Ban Ki-moon is speaking again at the UN in New York, saying he has urged the Security Council to take a range of punitive measures against Col Gaddafi.

2125 Tens of thousands of people also came out to protest in Tunisia's capital Tunis. Security forces fired shots in the air, Reuters news agency says.

2122 While much attention has focused on events today in Libya, thousands of protesters came out in Yemen's port city of Aden. At least one person was reported killed in clashes with security forces and about 20 people wounded.

2114 Video posted on a Libyan opposition website , shows people coming out a mosque and chanting, when shots ring out. The video has not been verified as authentic, but an analyst at BBC Monitoring, which examines international media, has identified the location as outside Jamal Abdel Nasser mosque, in central Tripoli.

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2104 The BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN tweets: "Ban Ki-moon hugs Libyan ambo after the personal speech, deputy ambo seen weeping by his side."

2101 That draft UN resolution calling for sanctions on Libya is also calling for the violence against the opposition to be referred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

2058 More from the BBC's Jeremy Bowen in Tripoli, who was invited there by the Libyan authorities. He said that on arrival, he and his team received a briefing by a man who said he was an engineer recently returned from Italy. The man said there would be some gunfire in the city but that the situation was under control apart from some people "causing trouble".

2055 The BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen has arrived in Tripoli within the last few hours. He told BBC's Newshour the scene at the airport was a "sad sad sight", with hundreds of people, mostly migrant workers, trying to get out, some waiting in sodden blankets on the ground. Remember, the weather has been wet and stormy in the region.

2052 Mr Shalgham told the UN tangible, effective action must be taken to stop Col Gaddafi, his sons and their supporters from what they are doing. He called for sanctions against the Gaddafi family and their supporters.

2051 Libya's ambassador to the UN, Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham has just addressed the UN Security Council. He said he represents the Libyan people and that the bloodshed must stop.

2046 A passenger ferry has just arrived in Malta and about 300 international refugees from Libya are disembarking, more than half of them Americans. They have come through rough seas to make the crossing. Those same rough seas have delayed boats trying to take people from other countries trying to flee Libya.

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2039 The Guardian's Martin Chulov in Benghazi tweets: "People dug through mud in Benghazi's sacked Army base today, looking for people buried alive. 42 years of sadism takes a toll. #libya".

2036 Mr Ban also said that the violence must stop and those responsible for spilling blood must be punished. There have been clear violations of human rights, he said.

2034 More from Ban Ki-moon's speech at the UN. He said there was a growing crisis of refugees and displaced people. He said 22,000 people have fled Libya through Tunisia and another 15,000 had left through Egypt. Both of Libya's neighbours' leaders were overthrown by mass protests six and two weeks ago respectively.

2031 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is speaking now in New York. He says it is time for the UN to consider "decisive action" concerning the crisis in Libya.

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2025 Ali Tweel in Tripoli tweets: "I am unarmed man setting in my house with my terrified wife, innocent son and hearing gunfire outside roaming around my neighborhood."

2018As foreign governments rush to evacuate citizens from Libya, it appears Canada overestimated their contingent. AP reports that a charter aircraft dispatched by the Ottawa government left Tripoli with only its crew aboard after finding no Canadians waiting at the airport.

2013Apologies: correction to 2005 entry, it was the king who sacked the ministers, not the crown prince as reported.

2007More detail on the Yemen protests (see 1844): The AP news agency says security forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators in Aden, wounding at least 19 people. AP had no detail on any deaths.

2005Bahrain's crown prince sacks three ministers who he blames for causing the crisis there - according to al-Jazeera TV.

1956Ms Alliot-Marie admitted her family had business dealings with allies of Tunisian strongman Mr Ben Ali. And according to AFP, just days before the fall of the regime, she shocked Tunisian democrats by suggesting that France could train the country's hated police force to better enable it to control the popular uprising.

1954The protests sweeping through the Arab world appear likely to claim their first European political scalp on the weekend. French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie is going to quit in the coming days over her handling of the Tunisia crisis, according to AFP.

1949More detail on the US pullout from Libya, from the state department's PJ Crowley: "The safety of the American community remains paramount to the department and we will continue to provide assistance to the greatest extent possible through other missions."

1945Mr Carney says President Barack Obama will meet UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in Washington on Monday to discuss Libya.

1942White House spokesman Jay Carney says US Tripoli embassy is "shuttered". Staff have been evacuated.

1941The White House also announces that US is to impose unilateral and multilateral sanctions on Libya.

1940White House confirms suspension of embassy service in Tripoli.

1937Another nation having a row over Libya is St Vincent in the Caribbean. Opposition politicians are outraged that the government is still accepting aid from Libya, calling it blood money.

1931The row over the UK government's response is being followed in detail on the BBC website.

1928UK Foreign Secretary William Hague urges all remaining Britons to make their way to Tripoli airport "at first light", adding: "Given that there are now only a small number left, the last government-sponsored chartered plane will leave Tripoli tomorrow."

1924US closes Tripoli embassy, officials tell AP news agency.

1922The BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels reports: "EU diplomats say its unlikely that EU sanctions against Libya will be in force until the second half of next week. The provisional agreement to impose sanctions has to be approved by ministers from member states. Then a legal regulation has to be produced by the European Commission - specifying details of sanctions, names of those affected etc - and again approved unanimously by all member states."

1918Also in Tunisia, the government says it has arranged for elections to be held by mid-July, AFP news agency reports.

1916Protesters have also taken to the streets of Tunisia's capital Tunis in what witnesses say is the biggest protest since Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted. The crowds want to oust Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, a former Ben Ali ally.

1910Libyan satellite TV channel al-Libiyah reports Saif al-Islam will hold a news conference "in a few moments".

1908The BBC website now has an incredibly detailed list of what each country is doing to get their citizens out of Libya.

1904Apologies: a correction to the 1812 entry: Mr Dabbashi called for African states not to send troops, not Arab states as reported.

1902Libyan TV reports that the regime has been in talks with "the misguided youth", who "have been handing over their weapons and joining the mass marches alongside the brother and leader of the revolution".

1900As Libyan diplomats scramble to distance themselves from the Gaddafi regime, a Newsnight investigation highlights Saif al-Islam's very British connections, including the observation that he had his £10m London home kitted out with a "suede-lined indoor cinema".

1854Another defection from Col Gaddafi: 11 members of Libya's Arab League delegation resign and call for the colonel to quit.

1851The BBC website now has a more detailed account of the day's events Bahrain, where thousands have heeded the call for a "day of rage".

1847Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets after Friday prayers. Outside Sanaa's university, they chanted: "The people demand the downfall of the regime." There were also large pro-government rallies.

1844An update from Yemen, where anti-government protests are still raging: Reuters reports two people have been killed and more than 30 injured after crowds were fired on in the port city of Aden.

1841More bad news for the Gaddafi regime: Libya's ambassador to Portugal quits, and denounces the current government as "tyrannical".

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1839 Libyans Revolt tweets: "Speaking to many on ground: spirits still high but they've had enough - he will go down sooner or later."

1838More from Libya's former interior minister: "In Tripoli, I call all the people in the neighbouring area to go forward to put an end to this brutal regime."

1830 Disbelief in Tripoli about Col Gaddafi's speech, from Ali Tweel , who has been tweeting regularly on events there: "he said it in public on Libyan TV, he is giving weapons to all his supporters and let Libya become a red fire. I can't believe my ears".

1822 UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says Britain wants a "truly wide-ranging" UN resolution on Libya. "What has happened in the way the Libyan government has treated its own people is unacceptable to the world," he said.

1819 John Simpson adds that there is no sign of police or soldiers in Benghazi, but law and order is prevailing.

1817 A 16-strong committee in Benghazi is organising affairs in Libya's second city, which fell to anti-Gaddafi protesters several days ago, says the BBC's World Affairs Editor John Simpson. The committee is making sure shops have provisions and banks keep residents supplied with money.

1812 The Libyan deputy UN ambassador, called on Arab states not to send troops or aid to Col Gaddafi, saying they would be jeopardising their relations with the Libyan people. Mr Dabbashi is one of the growing number of Libyan diplomats who have denounced Col Gaddafi and said they no longer support him.

1809 Libya's deputy ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, has been speaking at a hastily-called news conference. He called Col Gaddafi a madman and said thousands would die in Tripoli because the Libyan leader would fight his ground.

1806 The town of Zawiyah, about 50km (30 miles) west of Tripoli on the road to the Tunisian border, was the scene of heavy fighting on Thursday as supporters of Col Gaddafi counter-attacked his opponents. Now, Reuters reports that Gaddafi opponents say they have control of the town. Other witnesses say heavy gunfire has been heard from the town today.

1800 EU diplomats in Brussels have reached a broad consensus on imposing sanctions against Libya, but a formal decision will wait for early next week, says the BBC's Europe Correspondent Chris Morris. The measures include an arms embargo, asset freezes and travel bans against senior Libyan officials.

1751 When speaking in Tripoli's Green Square earlier, Col Gaddafi described his official status - as he sees it: "Although Muammar Gaddafi is not a president, or a king, or a prime minister, and has no constitutional or administrative powers, the people love him... Because this is dignity. We are dignity and glory and history and struggle.

1747 The Guardian's Fabrizio Caccia describes a twitchy Tripoli that is evenly split between supporters and opponents of Col Gaddafi, and people caught in the middle who are desperately trying to flee.

1742 More from that Benghazi woman who has been speaking to the BBC's Kevin Connolly: "After I have seen the courage of our people here in Benghazi and in other cities, we know that he is finished. It looks like it is chaotic, but it's not - everybody is ready to contribute to the building of our Libya. Freedom, justice and equality, that is what we will have after Gaddafi."

1740 Many people in Benghazi are savouring what they believe could be a new-found freedom, says the BBC's Kevin Connolly who is in the city. Here is what one woman there told him: "Now it's time to live! It's a very, very good feeling. I was praying I would witness this day."

1738 Another report that more ground has fallen to anti-Gaddafi forces. Reuters is saying three towns in the mountains south-west of Tripoli are no longer under his control.

1736 Mobile phone coverage in Libya has been erratic since the unrest began. London-based journalist Hassan al-Amin tells BBC World Service he believes this is because the military and security forces use their mobiles during crackdowns, "so when they are at it heavily the lines are ok, and when things are quiet, they start shutting down the network."

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1732 A disturbing tweet from Ali Tweel in Tripoli: "may allah help us all. They are shooting any protesters. we are unarmed. what is this place? where am i? People r killing unarmed people!".

1729 Libyan TV has denied reports that Mitiga airbase has fallen to anti-Gaddafi forces. The chief of the airbase told state media that: "There is categorically no truth to the destructive rumours that are repeated by conspiring satellite channels that are trying to give the impression that Mitiga airbase is in danger." He said operations were continuing as normal.

1723 More from the former Libyan interior minister speaking to the BBC's World Affairs Editor John Simpson. Abdel Fatah Yunis said it was unlikely that Col Gaddafi would commit suicide. Rather, he would go down fighting. A form of suicide in itself, says our correspondent.

1720 The BBC's World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, has been speaking to the former Libyan interior minister, Abdel Fatah Yunis, who resigned a few days ago. Mr Yunis said it was "absolutely impossible" that Col Gaddafi would not have taken the decision himself to blow up the Pan-Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in the 1980s.

1709 More tough talk from Col Gaddafi, saying he would arm his supporters to defeat the uprising against him: "With the armed people we can defeat all aggression. When necessary we will open all arms depots to arm the Libyan people. Libya will become a red flame.

1707 Col Gaddafi also singled out foreign media in his address at Green Square, calling them dogs.

1705 And another taste of that speech by Col Gaddafi in Tripoli: "Respond to them... let them feel shame. I am amidst the masses, I am in Tripoli, in Green Square. Here are the youth, the sons and grandchildren of the jihad battles, whose fathers destroyed the Italian empire."

1703 More from Col Gaddafi: "This is the (Libyan) people that brought Italy to its knees... Sing, dance, and prepare. I am amid the masses, and we shall fight, and we shall defeat them."

1701 Some quotes are emerging from Col Gaddafi's address to people at Green Square. "Prepare to defend Libya. Prepare to defend petrol, prepare to defend dignity."

1659 Those Libyan state TV pictures show a crowd of Gaddafi supporters holding placards while the Colonel addresses them. It turns out the pictures were probably filmed earlier today.

1656 Libya's state TV is now showing pictures they say are live of Col Gaddafi at Green Square in Tripoli. He's addressing supporters.

1653 Our UN correspondent adds that Russia and China, who have vetoes on the Security Council, are wary of actions that could be seen as interfering in the sovereign affairs of another country.

1651 More from the BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN in New York. She says the French and UK draft resolution contains measures that would target Libya's political and military elite: asset freezes, travel bans and weapons sanctions.

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1648 More from Ali Tweel in Tripoli, who tweets: "Not less than 40 person injured and dead in soug aljoumaa, via a doctor there".

1645 Britain's foreign office says it is doing everything it can to get Britons out of Libya. In a statement the foreign office said it had so far helped about 600 Britons to leave the country. People from 25 other countries have been helped out as well.

1634 The BBC has received a number of phone calls and other messages from sub-Saharan Africans in Libya. Many are saying that, because of their skin colour, they have been accused of being mercenaries serving Col Gaddafi and have been attacked. There have been reports that Col Gaddafi is being supported by soldiers from his allies in Chad and other African countries. One Turkish worker told the BBC his colleagues from Chad had been "massacred" by Libyans who thought they were mercenaries. The claims are impossible to verify independently right now.

1625 Word from the White House now on that conversation between President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan. The two discussed ways the international community can respond to the Libyan crisis and the importance of providing humanitarian assistance, the White House said in a statement.

1621 As well as Libya, huge protests are continuing across the region in this unprecedented wave of popular unrest. At least five people were killed in Iraq today as some protests there turned violent. Some 6,000 people have also massed in Amman, Jordan - the largest protest so far in the country.

1618 US President Barack Obama has been running up a big telephone bill over the crisis in Libya, seeking to muster support for some, as yet unspecified, action to mitigate the situation. Yesterday he spoke to the British, French and Italian leaders. Today he spoke to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They agreed, AFP reports, that Libyan leaders must be held "accountable" for the crackdown against protesters.

1613 The Tripoli resident continues: "The militia and Gaddafi supporters [are] carrying heavy arms [and] don't want the people to gather. They were just coming out in a crowd. They caused a massacre... There are some people still lying on the street. Nobody can take them. They are using ambulances to shoot at people - can you believe it? They are using anti-aircraft weapons. They are shooting continuously. You think you are in a war zone. This is a civil area. People are not armed."

1610 More on those reports of people being shot at by Gaddafi supporters after Friday prayers. One person told the BBC: "As we were praying, the shooting started. As people came out [of the mosque], they were shooting at people. A lot of my neighbours today died. My brother was hit by a bullet in his leg. The situation here is horrible. There are helicopters. The sky is raining with bullets."

1604 Word emerging now of a possible replacement for Col Gaddafi if indeed the Friday factor (see 1552 entry) works against the hard-pressed Libyan leader and he is forced out. Al-Jazeera TV says talks are taking place between "personalities from eastern and western Libya to form a body to govern the country".

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1600 From a refugee camp on the Tunisian side of the Libya border, Associated Press reporter Hadeel Al-Shalchi tweets: "Telecom Sans Frontieres set up sat phones for refugees to call home #egypt #tunisia #libya"

1558 There's reports coming in that there's been fighting in the Tripoli district of Souk al-Jumah, also spelt Soug al-Joumaa.

1555 Arabic satellite news channel Al-Arabiya has just reported that thousands of demonstrators in the Tripoli district of Tajurah are heading for the city centre.

1552 Friday's a big day not just because it's the Muslim holy day, but because it has assumed symbolic importance given the current unrest. The Tunisian and Egyptian presidents were both overthrown on a Friday.

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1549 The Libyan youth movement ShababLibya , who sent in that last tweet at 1541 have another one: "Today Libya is Tripoli and Tripoli is Libya and all are united, this is our last day of Gaddafi inshala."

1546 And just in from the BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN headquarters in New York: Diplomats on the Security Council say Britain and France have drawn up a Chapter 7 draft resolution with a package of measures aimed at isolating Libya's political and military leaders. Elements could include targeted sanctions, an arms embargo, and a proposed referral of the situation in Libya to the ICC (International Criminal Court). This is still a wish-list, the draft will be circulated to all the council members shortly and they will begin debate at a 2000GMT meeting. (Chapter 7 is the strongest form of binding resolution under international law).

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1541 There's talk on Twitter of splits within the portions of the Libyan security forces still loyal to Col Gaddafi. Libyan youth movement ShababLibya tweets : BREAKING: Reports of a split between members of the Khamis Brigade [elite unit commanded by one of Col Gaddafi's sons], when confirmed this should signal the end of the tyrant #Libya #Feb17"

1539 If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the unrest in Libya and other Arab nations. 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 email, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can.

1537 Nato ambassadors in Brussels should be starting their emergency meeting on Libya now. Speaking before their session began, Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen joined the growing chorus of condemnation of the use of force against civilians: "I strongly condemn the use of force. It is absolutely outrageous that the Libyan regime apparently uses armed forces against its own people."

1531 In a reminder that tensions have also been running high in Yemen, on the Arabian peninsula, AFP news agency says a protesters in the southern port city of Aden has just been killed by police, according to medical sources.

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1529 A journalist calling himself journodave tweets: My god. Libyan security intercepts caller live on AJE [Al-Jazeera English] "Get off this phone, get off this phone, you cannot speak to AlJazeera".

1523 The United Nations Security Council meets later on Friday to discuss Libya. "This is unquestionably a case for the application of the principle of the responsibility to protect - you've got a government shooting in cold blood," says former Australian Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans, who co-drafted the rules. Speaking to the BBC World Service he said the UN must impose immediately an arms embargo and targeted sanctions, and anything less would be an "abdication of its responsibilities."

1516 And a reminder of what the Indians being evacuated by their government are trying to escape - a resident of Tripoli just spoke to the BBC: "Many people are being killed right now in Tripoli, I just got a few phone calls from friends who witnessed people going out of mosques being shot at. I know one of the killed people - I was speaking to a friend, her brother in law got killed, I could hear screams. This is happening in an area called Zawyet al dahmani."

1514 BBC Hindi reports that the Indian government is deploying two ships to take Indian nationals out of Libya. The ships have medical facilities and will leave for the Mediterranean tomorrow.

1506While people like Ali Tweel (see previous entry) are saying that thousands of Libyans in Tripoli are joining Gaddafi opponents marching to Green Square, Libyan state TV is reporting that supporters of the Colonel, including ''men and women, youth and children'' are heading to Green Square to ''support and take pride in the leader of the revolution".

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1501 Ali Tweel tweets from Tripoli : "tajoura protesters march reached arada area 10km 2 the green square, they are thousands!"

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1457 The Guardian correspondent Martin Chulov tweets from Benghazi : "The Mitiga air base is confirmed to have fallen in Tripoli. #Libya. #Ghaddafi. Planes that strafed citizens took off from here."

1450 The BBC's Arabic Service has obtained a copy of the first edition of an anti-government newspaper published in Benghazi. The top headline of the paper, which is dated 23 February 2011 and does not appear to have a name, reads "The Revolution Goes On With Life." It calls on students to return to schools and universities starting Sunday, so that normal life continues as usual. Another headline read "The Panic-Stricken [Leader] and His Last Word.'' It condemns Col. Gaddafi's speech on Thursday and says he is trying to stoke tribal tensions in Libya to escape the crisis he's in. Another article is entitled: "Banks Have Reopened'' and provides details and addresses of bank branches in Benghazi that are operating.

1447 Just coming in from Geneva, news of the latest international defections to hit Col Gaddafi: The Libyan envoy to the UN in the Swiss city has told the Human Rights Council that he and the rest of the Geneva diplomatic mission "represent only the Libyan people" and not Col Gaddafi's government.

1442 Reuters is reporting that the oil terminal in the town of Brega, in western Libya near the border with Tunisia, is under rebel control. Soldiers are helping the rebels secure the port, Reuters says. The east of Libya has fallen from Col Gaddafi's control and yesterday saw fierce fighting between Gaddafi supporters and opponents in western towns.


1435 Libyan state TV has just reported: ''Medical sources in Tripoli have strongly denied the news, promoted by Arab satellite channels which are conspiring against the Libyan people, of three people killed in Tripoli.''

1432 It's been a similar story for a group of 180 workers, mostly Brazilians, but also some Portuguese, Spanish and Tunisians, stuck in Benghazi. They can't leave because of the weather. Their employer, a Portuguese construction firm, has chartered a ship to take them to Greece, but the bad weather means it can't get into the harbour. They've been waiting a week to get out and the Libyan government earlier took their passports. They'll be able to get new ones in Athens, BBC Brasil reports.

1427 Bad weather is hampering the evacuation of foreign nationals from Libya. The BBC's Chinese service reports that Greece has been forced to suspend the evacuation of about 6,000 Chinese citizens to Crete. Evacuations overland to Egypt and Tunisia are continuing, however.

1424 Another man, from Ghana, told the BBC World Service's Focus on Africa that he and a group of about seven other Ghanaians and Nigerians had stayed indoors for the last week. "We're stranded, we need help - nobody is safe," he said.

1421 Another Somali refugee in Tripoli told the BBC's Somali service: "We are now facing all sorts of hardships. We live in one apartment; we are about 33 people - a mixture of men and women. Some of the women have been giving birth in the premises, the ones who are due - there's no way of taking them to hospital. At the moment the general situation is everybody is looking out for themselves, we've been stuck here for three days."

1418 The BBC's Somali service has been speaking to Somalis in Tripoli, who describe shortages of basic necessities. Fatuma Abdulkadir, a refugee, says: "We've been advised if we go out it will be at our own risk. There's no food, water or electricity. Locals can't help us because they are also facing the same predicament."

1411 More reports of gunfire in Tripoli, Libya's capital. This time from Reuters news agency, which reports that a resident said security forces in Fashloom district in the east of Tripoli, fired shots in the air.

1409 Protesters in Bahrain won back Pearl Square from troops and police who had been guarding it after the authorities ordered them to pull out. This had been one of the key demands of protesters after several days of clashes left at least six people dead. The protesters also want democratic reforms, possibly leading to a constitutional monarchy. But some protesters want to see the monarchy gone altogether, says the BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones in Manama.

1406 In Bahrain, the BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones describes a column of demonstrators occupying a three-lane road leading into Pearl Square, which has been the focal point for anti-government protesters. He says people are marching 40 abreast and the column goes on for kilometres. He says a similar column has approached the square from another direction.

1403 Back to those protests elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East. In Cairo, Egypt, tens of thousands of people rallied in Tahrir Square, two weeks to the day after Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. The demonstrators say they want to keep up pressure on the army to implement democratic reforms. Mr Mubarak handed power over to the military who have put an interim cabinet in charge of government affairs until elections can be held.

1359 Sources in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, tell the BBC that after Friday prayers, protesters in several areas came under gunfire. There has been heavy security around mosques in Tripoli in recent days, our sources tell us.

1356 As the unrest in Libya continues, "days of rage" have been called for in a number of other countries. There have been protests against poor services and corruption in Iraq, and a massive number of demonstrators have been pouring into central Manama, Bahrain's capital.


1354 If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the unrest in Libya and other Arab nations. 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 email, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can.


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1352 Enough Gaddafi in Libya tweets: "Reinforcements from Misrata Zawiya Zintan Benghazi have arrived at the outskirts of #Tripoli to support demonstrators #Libya #Feb17."

1340The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Benghazi says that protesters are describing Friday as "the day of departure". He says that "a million prayers" in the city are calling on Gaddafi to go.

1336More on the interview Col Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam has given to Turkey's CNN-Turk TV. He says the Gaddafi family has no intention of fleeing Libya, and the government is in control of the west, south and centre of the country. He also says that "we will never demolish the sources of oil. They belong to the people".

1329Defence expert David Hartwell tells BBC World Service that the remaining pro-Gaddafi forces are "likely to be fairly heavily armed," with tanks and artillery. Just what weapons the anti-Gaddafi forces have is "a great unknown", he says, because nobody knows how many barracks and army bases the protesters have looted in the east.

1325Libya's state TV reports that the government is offering people big cash handouts. An announcer said payments worth about $800 would be paid to all Libyan families for two months to help them cover rising food costs.

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1321 ShababLibya tweets: "The situation in Tripoli is NOW***** critical, gun shots tear gas and arrests."

1315At least five protesters have been killed in Tripoli's Janzour district, a local resident tells Reuters.

1311More on the shooting reported by eyewitnesses in Tripoli's suburbs. Privately-owned Libyapress website reports that worshippers went out to demonstrate peacefully after Friday prayers and were met by a large number of security forces who clashed with the protesters, using live rounds against them.

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1305 bencnn tweets: "Doctors at Benghazi's Al-Jala hospital told me many of the dead were shot by snipers in chest, neck and head. Shooting to kill."

1259Eyewitnesses in Tripoli say that security forces are now shooting at protesters in the capital's suburbs.

1253Libya's state TV shows footage of what it says is Tripoli's "Green Square now". There are about 50 demonstrators at most in the shot, carrying pictures of Col Gaddafi. Someone is heard shouting pro-Gaddafi slogans and chanting "Popular revolution" and "We are Libyans".

1242The BBC News website is now running an analysis piece on the possible scenarios that might bring an end to the Libyan crisis. The article by a Middle East analyst also looks at what role the West might play in developments.


1235 Egypt's state TV is now reporting that the government is attempting to increase flights to Tripoli to evacuate Egyptian citizens stuck in Libya. A foreign ministry spokesman said Cairo would also send more planes and ships to Tunisia to evacuate Egyptians arriving there from Libya. He said that so far 38,000 Egyptians have been making their way by land to Egypt from Libya.

1232More from the BBC's Paul Danahar on the Tunisia-Libya border. He writes: "Suresh Kothia - an Indian who just arrived from Libya - told me that at the last checkpoint the Libyan army took everyone's phone sim cards and computer hard drives to stop images of the uprising getting out. "They were broken and tossed to the ground. They think the world doesn't know what's going on here," Suresh said.

1220France says it does not see the need for Nato's decision-making body to meet over the Libya crisis despite the bloc's leader having called such a meeting, according to the AFP.

1215 In Egypt, the BBC's Arabic Service is reporting that protestors in Cairo's Tahrir Square are still calling for the resignation of the new prime minister and his government, and for the release of all political prisoners. They also want Hosni Mubarak to be put on trial. The government has issued an apology for ''mistakes'' that took place and vowed it would seek to solve economic problems in the future.

1211The Libyan ambassador to France has resigned, a Libyan diplomatic source is quoted as saying by Reuters.

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1209 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez tweets: "Long live Libya and its independence! Gaddafi faces a civil war!"

1204The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports: "Travelling across the vast deserts of eastern Libya from the Egyptian frontier to Benghazi. Towns like Tobruk and villages quiet. Old royalist flag flying - no sign of pro-Gaddafi forces anywhere that we've seen."

1201More on David Cameron's comments on the Libya crisis. The British prime minister says: "The message is very clear: that the violence we have seen is appalling and unacceptable. I have... this warning for people in that regime - the world is watching you and the world will hold you to account."

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1156 A Tripoli resident emails the BBC's Arabic Service, saying: "The situation is very tense. We don't know what will happen after prayers. We are fearful. There are queues for bread and fuel. Also my internet connection is faster than anything I have experienced before. I am suspicious. We were not attacked from the air, but the terror we lived through on Sunday and Monday was unimaginable."

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1152 ShababLibya tweets: "Gaddafi has ordered all the mosques to be surrounded by armed guards to prevent the mass protests."

1144BBC Arabic correspondent in Iraq Nasser Shadid reports that security forces have arrested several cameramen in addition to the correspondent of the opposition Baghdadiya TV. Meanwhile, a BBC Arabic stringer says that protesters have taken control of a local government building in the northern Haweeja province.

1138Margaret Lockhart, whose husband remains stranded in Libya, tells the BBC that "David Cameron has taken far too long to evacuate British nationals out of Libya. The government has done nothing to help us".

1134The UK government "will do everything it can" to safely evacuate the estimated 200 British nationals still stranded in Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron says.

1130Libya's state TV is broadcasting interviews with people in Tripoli expressing support for Col Gaddafi and chanting "Allah, Muammar, Libya only". Most of those interviewed are saying that shops are open, life in the city is back to normal and "all is well in Tripoli". They also accuse foreign news channels of being "Israeli agents".

1125Army and police in the eastern city of Ajdabiya say they have withdrawn from their barracks and joined the protesters, al-Jazeera reports.

1121The BBC's Paul Danahar reports: "I'm at a Tunisian army camp that has sprung up a few kilometres from the border. It s processing the refugees coming out of Libya. Yesterday they dealt with 3,800 people. They spend the night in tents, get their details registered, are fed and then get sent to Jerba airport to fly home."

1118A Palestinian pilot, presumably serving in the Libyan armed forces, has landed his helicopter in Misrata, east of Tripoli, and defected to the protesters, private newspaper Libya al-Yawm reports on its website.

1112Col Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam vows that his family will "live and die in Libya", according an excerpt from an interview to be broadcast on a Turkish TV station later on Friday, the Associated Press reports.

1101In Yemen, anti-government protesters are gathering in Sanaa's main square. A rally by government supporters is also expected in the capital.

1058Al-Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports that the situation in Baghdad's Tahrir Square is very tense. She says some 3,000 people are gathered in a small space, throwing rocks at riot police, who are armed with plastic shields and batons. There are so many people on the bridge leading to the square that there could easily be a stampede.

1054Production at Libya's Amal oil field, one of the OPEC producer's four largest, has not been disrupted by the revolt, a local official tells Reuters.

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1045 Guardian's correspondent Martin Chulov tweets: "No Libyan flags flying in Benghazi - independence banners hoisted everywhere."

1042EU nations are preparing to participate in a possible no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Col Gaddafi from bombing protesters, an EU diplomat is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

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1039Over to Bahrain now, where protesters are gearing up for a rally in Manama's Pearl Square to honour the victims of a recent police crackdown. The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights tweets: "March starts @ 3PM (1200 GMT) to roundabout."

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1033 Jad Azzary, who says he is in Libya, tweets: "Well, everything is calm here in Tripoli... But cars are buzzing in the streets... I guess this Friday should have a name... a very strong one".

1031Reports from Paris say that anti-Gaddafi protesters - calling themselves the "children of revolution" - have occupied the Libyan embassy in France. "We've taken over the embassy," a spokeswoman for the group told the AFP. Police are stationed outside the embassy, preventing anyone else gaining access to the building.

1025Italy is preparing a "military operation" to rescue some Italian nationals stranded in south-eastern Libya whose food supplies have run out, Defence Minister Ignazio La Russia is quoted as saying by the AFP.

1023 An eyewitness in one of the suburbs of Tripoli tells BBC World Service that his neighbour has been killed. He says that the neighbour stuck her head out of the window, and was shot in the crossfire. He says his brother has seen workers cleaning up the streets and painting over anti-Gaddafi graffiti "to make it seem like nothing has happened".

1019The UN Human Rights Council has now begun meeting in emergency session in Geneva to discuss the Libya crisis. Commissioner Navi Pillay condemned Col Gaddafi's use of violence against protesters, which she said could amount to crimes against humanity. The council is expected to demand Libya's expulsion - a move never before taken against a member state, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports.

1014Libya's food supply chain is "at risk of collapsing", the UN's World Food Programme warns, according to the AFP.

1010The BBC's Jim Muir on the Tunisia-Libya border reports that people are continuing to leave Libya. He says they are mainly Tunisians, but there are also a number of Egyptians. The Libyans are not letting anyone into the country, our correspondent says.

1001Street protests are planned in a number of Arab countries later on Friday. In Iraq, two people are reported to have been killed and 20 wounded in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the town of Hawija, north of Baghdad. Rallies are taking place in a number of Iraqi cities against corruption and a lack of basic services.

0953Oil deals that are legal and in the interest of Libyan's citizens will be honoured, a member of the anti-Gaddafi coalition which says it is now running Benghazi is quoted as saying by Reuters.

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0948 Prominent Egyptian blogger Wael Ghonim tweets: "Praying that Libya brothers and sisters put an end to the dictator today. Reminder: Qaddafi, It's Friday!"

0945EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton says the bloc should consider sanctions to put pressure on Col Gaddafi and stop the violence. "It's time to consider what we call restrictive measures," she says.


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0941 CNN reporter in Benghazi bencnn tweets: "Heard in Benghazi: "Ben Ali of #Tunisia fell on a Friday, Mubarak of #Egypt fell on a Friday, Qaddafi will fall this Friday."

0930The UN human rights chief says a violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Libya is "escalating", and that some sources indicate that thousands may have been killed or injured, the AFP news agency reports.

0925 A Tripoli resident, who hasn't been named for his safety, tells the BBC that "people are locked in, the city is under siege". He says that "people are scared and the panic is spreading".

0913Nato ambassadors are to hold an emergency meeting in Brussels at 1530 on the situation in Libya. Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he has called the meeting to consult on what he described as a fast-moving situation.

0908Government opponents in Tripoli have said they are planning to protest in Green Square after Friday prayers at 1000.


0905Army units which remain loyal to Col Gaddafi have been fighting back against the rebels trying to force him from power, the BBC's Jon Leyne in the eastern city of Benghazi reports. He says that one of the colonel's sons is said to be in command of special forces who tried to dislodge rebels from a town near Tripoli.


0900 Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the unrest in Libya and other Arab nations. 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 email, text or Twitter. We'll publish what we can.




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