Even as Seif al-Islam Gadhafi spoke on state TV Sunday night, clashes were raging in and around Tripoli's central Green Square, lasting until dawn Monday, witnesses said. They reported snipers opening fire on crowds trying to seize the square, and Gadhafi supporters speeding through in vehicles, shooting and running over protesters. Before dawn, protesters took over the offices of two of the multiple state-run satellite news channels, witnesses said.
After daybreak Monday, smoke was rising from two sites in Tripoli where a police station and a security forces bases are located, said Rehab, a lawyer watching from the roof of her home.
The city on Monday was shut down and streets empty, with schools, government offices and most shops closed except a few bakeries serving residents hunkered down in their houses, she said, speaking on condition she be identified only by her first name.
The protests and violence were the heaviest yet in the capital of 2 million people, a sign of how unrest was spreading after six days of demonstrations in eastern cities demanding the end of the elder Gadhafi's rule.
Gadhafi's regime has unleashed the bloodiest crackdown of any Arab country against the wave of protests sweeping the region, which toppled the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia. More than 200 have been killed in Libya, according to medical officials, human rights groups and exiled dissidents.