February 15, 2011Edit

  • In the evening approximately 200 people began demonstrating in front of the police headquarters in Benghazi following the arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel.
  • They were joined by others later who totaled between 500 to 600 protesters. The protest was broken up violently by police,[24] causing as many as 40 injuries among the protesters.
  • In Al Bayda and Az Zintan, hundreds of protesters called for "the end of the regime" and set fire to police and security buildings.
  • In Az Zintan, the protesters set up tents in the town centre.

February 16, 2011Edit

  • Protests continued in Benghazi, where hundreds of protesters gathered at Maydan al-Shajara before security services tried to disperse the crowd using water cannons. After clashes between the two groups, the police left in minibuses and the protesters then closed Jamal Abdel Naser street.
  • Al-Yawm estimated a crowd of more than 1,500 people attempting to storm the internal security building in Al Bayda.
  • The protesters set fire to two cars and burnt down the headquarters of the traffic police.
  • In the ensuing clashes with police six people died and three were injured.
  • In Al-Quba, more than 400 protesters over a wide range of ages set fire to the police station.
  • Protests were also reported in Darnah and Az Zintan, though there were no injuries.
  • Pro-government rallies of many dozens of loyalists and Tripolitanian people also took place.

February 17, 2011Edit

  • "Day of Rage"
  • The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition stated that "all" groups opposed to Gaddafi both within Libya and in exile planned the protests in memory of the demonstrations in Benghazi on 17 February, 2006 that were initially against the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, but which turned into protests against Gaddafi.
  • In Benghazi, the government released 30 prisoners from jail, armed them and paid them to fight against protesters. *Several demonstrators were killed by snipers and gunfire from helicopters.
  • The London Evening Standard and Al Jazeera English estimated that 14 people were killed. The latter reported that an eyewitness saw six unarmed protesters shot dead by police.
  • The BBC reported that "at least 15 people" were killed in the clashes.
  • Libya al-Youm reported that four people were shot dead by sniper fire in Al Bayda and a Libyan human-rights group reported 13 people had been killed.
  • In Ajdabiya and Darnah at least ten and six protesters were killed by police, respectively. Protests also took place across Tripoli and in Zentan, where a number of government buildings including a police station were set on fire.

February 18, 2011Edit

  • Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in front of the Benghazi courthouse.
  • According to the BBC, a "doctor at Benghazi's Jalla hospital" told them that he had "seen 15 bodies - all dead from gunshot wounds" by the time he left the hospital "in the early hours of [the day]."
  • Police and army personnel later reportedly withdrew from the city after being overwhelmed by protesters.
  • Some army personnel also joined the protesters; they then took control of the local radio station.
  • In Al Bayda, unconfirmed reports indicated that the local police force and riot control units joined the protesters. *Unconfirmed eyewitness reports suggested that two officers who were accused of shooting protesters were hanged by protesters.
  • Oea newspaper, which is allied to Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam, said that the two policemen had been lynched by a lynch mob.
  • The Libyan newspaper Quryna reported that about 1,000 non-political prisoners had escaped from a Benghazi prison. A security source told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that four inmates were shot dead during a breakout attempt in Tripoli.
  • The government of Libya initially restricted access to the Internet in the country for several hours, but later imposed a more comprehensive and sustained blackout.

February 19, 2011Edit

  • Widespread protests continued for another day.
  • Demonstrators in Benghazi had reportedly taken control of the airport early in the day.
  • The opposition warned civilians of a massacre by the government unless the international community applied pressure. *Witnesses in Libya have reported helicopters firing into crowds of anti-government protesters.
  • The army withdrew from the city of Al Bayda.
  • Human Rights Watch and the Libyan newspaper Quryna said thousands of demonstrators had poured out onto the streets in Benghazi and other eastern cities on 18 February, a day after the clashes in which 49 people were killed, and that some protests were still continuing.
  • Artillery, helicopter gunships and antiaircraft missile launchers were used to kill protesters.
  • Security forces reportedly opened fire at a funeral in the eastern, coastal city of on Saturday, killing at least 15 people and injuring scores more. The funeral was to honour protesters killed by security forces during the on-going protests.
  • A doctor from Benghazi's Al-Jalah Hospital said staff there had received 15 bodies and were treating numerous people following the shootings at the funeral. "This is not a well-equipped hospital and these injuries come in waves," he said. "All are very serious injuries, involving the head, the chest and the abdomen. They are bullet injuries from high-velocity rifles." The hospital counted 44 deaths in three days and was struggling to treat the wounded. The residents of Bengazi told Al Jazeera that at least 200 people had died while the New York based Human Rights Watch put the countrywide death toll at a "conservative" 104 on the 19th.
  • A bank was looted in Bengazi.
  • Anti-Gadaffi protests were also reported in Misurata. Thousands of people has took part in peaceful protests in the western city of Misurata on the 19th. They were demonstrating against state brutality and censorship, rather than calling for a change in government.
  • Both pro-and ant-government protests have also reportedly broken out in other major cities, including Al Bayda, Derna, Tobruk and Misrata on the 19th.
  • Somehow, several hundred government supporters and party activists took to the streets in large numbers, and security forces prevented large demonstrations against Col Muammar Gaddafi's 42 year old regime.
  • A bank was wrecked and looted in Tripoli.
  • According to a death toll compiled by the AFP news agency from local sources, at least 41 people have been killed since demonstrations first erupted on 15 February. The toll excludes two policemen, newspapers said, had been hung in Al Bayda on 18 February.
  • The New York-based Human Rights Watch, citing phone interviews with hospital staff and eye witnesses, said that security forces killed more than 80 anti-Gadaffi-regime protesters in unrest-swept eastern Libya.
  • Opposition groups later put the number of dead at over 120. The residents of Bengazi told Al Jazeera that at least 200 people had died while the New York City-based Human Rights Watch put the countrywide death toll at a "conservative" 104 on the 19th.
  • The security forces (troops and police) of Benghazi were in their barracks while the city was in a state of civil mutiny.
  • Mohamed Abdulmalek, the chairman of the human rights group Libya Watch commented that the delay of protests in the west was due to the heavy presence of Libya’s State Security Forces and secret police were out there and "not because the people did not want to go out".
  • The UK's former Foreign Secretary and Chairman of the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that the protests across the Middle East were resembling the anti-Communist/pro-democracy events in Eastern Europe of 1989.
  • British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "deeply concerned" by the "unacceptable violence" used against protesters.

February 20, 2011Edit

  • Protests escalated with residents also reporting small protests beginning in Tripoli, indicating a widening of the unrest from the Eastern half of the country into Gaddafi's center of power.
  • Hospitals confirmed that they have run out of supplies and doctors estimate the death-toll in Benghazi to be between 200-300.
  • After the people of Benghazi beat back the police and captured several key military barracks local military brigades joined the protesters. By this time, protesters in Benghazi numbered in the tens of thousands, possibly in the hundreds of thousands.
  • Reports also emerged of pro-Gaddafi militia by the Elfedeel Bu Omar compound "being butchered by angry mobs."
  • Al Jazeera said that protesters were in control of the city as loyalist security forces fled to the airport.
  • Further military units are reported to have defected in order to protect protesters.
  • Several senior Muslim clerics and tribal leaders from around Libya called for an end to the bloodshed by the regime, and for the government to step down.
  • A 'large'[vague] and 'spontaneous' protest occurred in Tripoli by night where the protesters quickly overran police.[38] One tribal leader threatened to block oil exports.
  • The Tuareg tribe in the south was said to have answered a call by the larger Warfala tribe to take part in the protests.
  • The Tuareg towns of Ghat and Ubary were also locations for violence, with members of the tribe reportedly attacking government buildings and police stations.
  • Saif al-Islam appeared on state television and blamed the violence and protests, including "acts of sabotage and burning," on "foreign agents," and in particular, Israel, echoing the attempts made by other Arab leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen to dismiss and downplay the unrest.
  • He said that the unrest "may cause civil war" and referred to the civil war in Libya in 1936. He also said that Libya was different from its neighbours. He ended by warning, "We will fight to the last man and woman and bullet. We will not lose Libya. We will not let Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and BBC trick us."
  • There were also unconfirmed rumours that Muammar al-Gaddafi had left for Brazil or Venezuela leaving Saif El Islam in charge.
  • State-run Al-Shababiya was reportedly attacked in the evening following Saif El Islam's address.
  • The United States Department of State, through the American Embassy, issued a travel warning to US citizens due to the continuing unrest in the country.
  • The European Union called on the government to refrain from using force and to answer the protesters' grievances.
  • In the night, clashes escalated in Tripoli, with protesters trying to seize control of Green Square.
  • Witnesses reported snipers firing into the crowds, and Gaddafi supporters driving around the square shooting and running demonstrators over.
  • Protesters burned a police and security forces' station and the General People's Congress' building.

February 21, 2011Edit

  • Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi called for a "general assembly" to discuss grievances.
  • In Benghazi, protesters took control of the streets, and looted weapons from the main security headquarters. Demonstrators also lowered the Libyan flag from above the main courthouse and replaced it with the flag of the country's old monarchy.
  • Air Force warplanes and attack helicopters launched airstrikes on protesters, reportedly targeting a funeral procession and a group of protesters trying to reach a military base.
  • Two senior mutineering air force pilots flew their Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jets to Malta and requested political asylum after defying orders to bomb protesters.
  • Two civilian helicopters also landed in Malta, carrying seven passengers who claimed to be French oil workers.
  • Maltese news stations reported that the 'oil workers' were in fact French intelligence operatives.
  • Reports indicated the People's Hall in Tripoli, which serves as the meeting place for the General People's Congress, had been set on fire.
  • There were also reports that the state television building had been smashed up by protesters and that at least one Tripoli police station was burned down.
  • Navy warships were reported to have begun bombardment of residential areas causing an unknown number of casualties. *Banks and other government buildings were looted throughout the day. Demonstrators clashed with security forces, and heavy gunfire was heard throughout the city. At least 61 people were killed.
  • Some people alleged that they were offered money to turn up for pro-Gaddafi rallies outside Libya.
  • Within Libya, state-run television showed pro-Gaddafi rallies, though the international media doubted the authenticity of these protests as possibly having been staged.
  • There were reports that Gaddafi had fled Tripoli after the People's Hall and the state television headquarters were overrun and burned by protesters – according to rumours he had fled either to the town of Sebha or to Venezuela.
  • British Foreign Secretary William Hague also said that he had received information that Muammar al-Gaddafi had left Libya and was travelling to Venezuela. Venezuelan government officials denied reports that Muammar Gaddafi had left Libya and was on a plane bound for Caracas.
  • BBC News reported that the Libyan Army was "fighting forces loyal to [Colonel] Gaddafi, who appears to be struggling to hold on to power."
  • A group of army officers also called upon their fellow soldiers to "join the people" and remove Gaddafi from office. Islamic leaders and clerics in Libya urged all Muslims to rebel against Gaddafi.
  • The ambassador to Poland stated that the flood of defections by elements of the Army and Air Force, as well as by government ministers, cannot be stopped and that Gaddafi days in power are numbered. He also said that firing on the protestors was only increasing the unrest and that it is the sign of a dying regime.
  • Libyan ambassadors to Indonesia, Bangladesh, the EU, and India also resigned in protest of the actions of the Gaddafi regime.

February 22, 2011Edit

Gaddafi made a brief appearance on state television in which he praised the rain that kept him from addressing the youth in Green Square. He also said: "I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Do not believe the channels belonging to stray dogs." The location and time of Gaddafi's statement could not be independently verified by news organizations outside of Libya, but he carried an umbrella, which suggested to analysts that it was raining in the video. The apparent rainfall in the video lends it credibility, as it was raining in Tripoli earlier that day.

  • Gunfire was reportedly heard throughout the night of 21–22 February.
  • Loyalist soldiers were reported to have continued some bombarding to keep defecting soldiers away from the protests. *Fighter jets were reported to have targeted army ammunition depots in order to prevent troops from joining the protesters.
  • The Libyan Navy reportedly began firing on onshore targets, and Gaddafi allegedly issued execution orders to soldiers refusing to fire on protesters.
  • A Libyan naval vessel was reportedly sighted off the coast of Malta. According to Al Jazeera, five Italian fighter jets overflew the ship, and the Italian Navy began conducting surveillance. The ship reportedly had its flag lowered, suggesting that the crew may want to defect. The Maltese military denied that it was tracking the ship. There are also reports of the possibility of another two Libyan fighters defecting to Malta.
  • The former ambassador to India, Ali al-Essawi, stated that he feared returning to Libya. He also confirmed that fighter jets were used to bomb civilians, and that foreign mercenaries, who seemed to have come from other African countries, were "massacring" people.
  • The former ambassador to Bangladesh, A. H. Elimam, was also reported to have "disappeared" after 9:00 Bangladesh time. *Al Jazeera said the last conversation with him noted "a sense of panic" in his voice and that his phone had been switched off.
  • He indicated a feeling of being threatened by an intelligence officer at the embassy, who was from the same village as Gaddafi.
  • The Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry and other diplomats in that country could not confirm his whereabouts.
  • The former British Foreign Minister David Owen said that a "military intervention" via a no-fly zone was immediately necessary.
  • The Austrian Army reported that the airspace around Tripoli had been closed, but later retracted the statement.
  • The Austrian Defense Ministry spokesman Michael Huber said: "One of our sources said that initially that it (airspace) was closed, but then another later confirmed otherwise. Our plane was able to leave."
  • Eyewitness report that thousands of African mercenaries were flown into Tripoli to put down the uprising.
  • One insider source reportedly says that Gaddafi now can only rely on his own clan and 5,000 men, out of 45,000, and knows he can't retake Libya. According to this view, he apparently plans to force a Pyrrhic victory on his opponents; to whittle down their numbers with many skirmishes, harm the economy by sabotaging oil reserves, and in every sense damaging infrastructure to the best of his ability, stating "I have the money and arms to fight for a long time".
  • Oil infrastructures may be sabotaged to cut economic supply to rebel clans, while fights may lead thousands to flee Libya.

“ I am a Bedouin warrior who brought glory to Libyans ” —Muammar Gaddafi during his speech on February 22

  • In a second speech within 24 hours, believed to be made by commentators from his family compound in the Bab al-Azizia military barracks in southern Tripoli, Gaddafi blamed foreign media for the unrest. He rejected stepping back, saying he had no official position from which he could step down, and stated that he would "die as martyr". The scenery of the speech indicated that Gaddafi was in Libya.
  • Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi vowed to fight his opponents "until the last drop of his blood had been spilt" rather step down, describing anti-regime protesters as "rats" and "mercenaries" working for foreign nations and corporation's agendas. Col Gaddafi said the rioting urban youths that were oppose his rule were manipulated by others who gave them drugs and who were trying to turn the country into an Islamic state. In earlier speeches he had also blamed 'Zionists' for the riots.
  • General Abdulfatah Younis who holds the position of top general and interior minister, escaped from house arrest, resigned, and called for the army and police to fight Gaddafi and his regime. General Younis is the second most powerful man in Libya.
  • By the night of the 22nd, the Arab League’s secretary general, Amr Moussa, had said in an emergency Arab League summit in Cairo, that the Arab League suspended the Libyan delegation, according to Al Arabiya.
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