As rebel fighters reached Green Square in heart of Tripoli in the early hours on Monday, speculations ran high that dictator Moammar Gadhafi had fled the capital.
Crowds took to the streets of Tripoli to celebrate the regime's impending fall.
“We're finally free to speak, after 41 years. We were prevented from saying what we believed, or any sort of freedom whatsoever,” an Al Jazeera reporter quoted a Libyan citizen in the square saying.
Rebels have returned the plaza, renamed Green Square under Gadhafi’s regime, to its original name, Martyr’s Square, the reporter said.
Gadhafi's forces collapsed “dramatically” in a few hours as rebels advanced more than 32 kilometers to Tripoli by Sunday night. But there were still pockets in the city under Gadhafi forces' control, including Tripoli Hotel, where members of the foreign media are held.
I warn you, there are still pockets of resistance in and around Tripoli. The fight is not over yet. God willing, in a few hours our victory will be complete, senior Libyan rebel official Mahmoud Jibril said in a speech on the opposition television station al-Ahrar, Al Jazeera reports.
Libya's rebels have arrested Gadhafi’s eldest son Mohammed and have captured his heir son Saif al-Islam, National Transitional Council head Mustapha Abd El Jalil told Al Jazeera television Sunday night.
The military unit in charge of protecting Gadhafi and the capital Tripoli had surrendered, a senior rebel official told the Associated Press.
Amid such reports and no whereabouts of Gadhafi’s family, the Libyan leader is rumored to have fled.
Tripoli airport was under rebel forces control and it was unlikely Gadhafi could have fled from there, yet rebels’ senior officials didn't believe that Gadhafi is in Tripoli, Mahmoud Shamam of the NTC said.