Reports from Libya claim heavy fighting in the capitol city of Tripoli with anti-government protesters coming under heavy gunfire from troops and mercenaries in support of leader Moammar Gaddafi.
Following Friday prayers, tens of thousands of anti-Gaddafi opponents took to the streets demanding the resignation of the iron-fisted ruler.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Libyans marched from mosques to Green Square in the center of Tripoli, with the support of at some members of the security forces.
The military police are with us, said Mohammad Khalil, a 31-year-old businessman in Tripoli, according to the Times. People marching in the demonstrations heard gunfire, and are sure that people have been killed.
Al Arabiya television said about 50,000 people were descending on Green Square.
Conflicting reports allege that at least six people have been killed in Tripoli, although Libyan state TV has denied it.
Al-Jazeera reported heavy gunfire in several neighborhoods of Tripoli, including Fashloum, Ashour, Jumhouria and Souq Al. The security forces fired indiscriminately on the demonstrators, said a resident of Tripoli. There were deaths in the streets of Sug al-Jomaa.”
Meanwhile, Europe and the U.S,. are mobilizing efforts to send militaries to Libyan to help evacuate nationals trapped in the country. The United Nations and other global agencies are considering sanctions against Gaddafi.
Also on Friday, reports claim, in the town of Zuwarah (on the northwest coast of Libya) has been abandoned by government security forces and is now in the control of anti-Gaddafi protesters. Another city in the west, Misurata, is also reportedly in the hands of protesters.
While the eastern part of the country appears to be completely out of Gaddafi’s control, the western region (which includes Tripoli) remains up for grabs.