There's not exactly a surplus of news cameras in Libya right now, so plenty of reports are flying around and it's not clear which of them are true. But we can say with enough confidence that it's absolute hell over there. Muammar Qaddafi is pulling out every nasty little trick to protect his regime, assuming he's even in the country. It could always be that smarmy kid of his doing the unconscionable.
An early eyewitness report from Tripoli puts the death toll around 160, just today. It could be lower, it could be much higher. Bet on "much higher" if this is true, and Qaddafi has escalated his already brutal crackdown into a war: "Military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Tripoli, Al Jazeera television said on Monday."
The navy may be involved, too. The Guardian's must-read liveblog has posted a claim from Salem Gnan, "a London-based spokesman for the National Front for the Salvation of Libya" — meaning he's not necessarily the most objective source, but still — "says eyewitnesses in Tripoli have told him the navy has opened fire on parts of the capital."
We have just heard that the military ships are bombing an area in Tripoli and many people have been killed although we don't know how many at the moment because people have just called to tell us it is happening.
The good news is that two Libyan fighter jets landed unexpectedly in Malta not too long ago, supposedly requesting asylum. Qaddafi himself may have fled to Venezuela. On the other hand, he may be in Libya bombing people from fighter jets and warships.
[Image via AP]