Renewed and intensified fighting in the Libyan capital of Tripoli has led to the deaths of dozens of people, according to media reports, as the noose around Moammar Gaddafi tightens.
Al Jazeera reported that at least 61 people have died in Tripoli on Monday where a huge anti-government rally prompted security forces to use fighter jets and live ammunition against unarmed people.
Ahmed Elgazir, a human-rights researcher at the Libyan News Centre in Switzerland, told Al Jazeera that Libyan security forces are massacring people in Tripoli.
Gaddafi, who has ruled oil-rich Libya for more than four decades, appears to be losing the support of parts of his military as well as his diplomats abroad.
Ibrahim Dabbashi, the deputy ambassador, warned that if Gaddafi did not relinquish power, the Libyan people [would] get rid of him”.
We don't agree with anything the regime is doing ... we are here to serve the Libyan people, he told Al Jazeera.
Dabbashi has beseeched the international community to impose a “no-fly zone” over Libya in order to stop mercenaries, and weapons from reaching Gaddafi’s security forces.
Two Libyan air force pilots fled to Malta seeking asylum. A number of government officials have resigned in protest over the heavy-handed violence used against demonstrators.
The Italian news agency Ansa reported that the airport in Tripoli is in chaos, with hundreds of foreigners desperate to board planes to leave Libya.
But with Libyan officials having cut of landline and internet connection in the country, most of the reports are impossible to verify.
There is also doubts the whereabouts of Gaddafi.
Nonetheless, a spokesman for United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said he held extensive discussions with Gaddafi on Monday, and condemned the horrific violence.
The secretary-general underlined the need to ensure the protection of the civilian population under any circumstances,” the spokesman said. “He urged all parties to exercise restraint and called upon the authorities to engage in broad-based dialogue to address legitimate concerns of the population.”