Libya: “Tonight is the night. TONIGHT.”

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

Events in Libya can no longer be termed just anti-government protests. Fighting with anything from heavy weapons to clubs and sticks has broken out throughout certain cities between defecting members of the military who have joined civilians against the remaining factions of Muammar Al Gaddafi's government and foreign mercenaries he has brought in to protect his regime.

As of 11 PM Sunday, February 20 local time in Libya, media reported heavy gunfire and fires in the capitol Tripoli. Benghazi, the heart of Saturday's protest, still has unconfirmed reports that what remains of the military in the country's second-largest city has joined the side of protesters. Gunshots were also heard at Col. Ghadaffi's residence.

Everything is happening very fast. Once again: To keep up with protests in Libya (and government reactions), please view this map created by @Arasmus from “trusted Twitter accounts” to help with communication gap as independent media in Libya is scarce. This site also collects regularly updated Twitter feeds.

As of early Sunday, February 20 Human Rights Watch placed the number of civilian deaths at more than 170 during the five-day uprising. That number will certainly climb said a Libyan doctor in an interview with BBC Radio 5 about the protests and the casualties on Sunday, February 20.

The Twitter masses are relentlessly trying to keep up with events across the country.

@AJELive:“there is a white mitsubishi lancer … they are shooting at people randomly” doctor in Tripoli tells @AJELive #Libya

@MbinH: Gaddafi is hiring thugs to rape women in an attempt to keep their husbands indoors. His end is near. #Genocide #Libya #Gaddafi

@ChangeInLibya: Tonight is the night. TONIGHT. There are literally hundreds of thousands on the street now in areas surrounding green sqr accrdn to frnd

@abdu: the Tuareg tribes in southern Libya have joined the protesters. This is from a Libyan Tuareg activist based in London (to AJ). #Libya

@ShababLibya: BREAKING CONFIRMED: Protesters in Tripoli marching towards the Green Square chanting: No God but God and Gaddafi is the Enemy of God #feb17

@SultanAlQassemi: Al Jazeera: Libya's Ambassador to the Arab League submits resignation over what he called “the mass genocide of Libyans”

@iyad_elbaghdadiAljazeera seeing live footage of youths taking down #Gaddafi's flag and raising original #Libya independence tricolor flag! #Feb17

@ChangeInLibya: Hearing very very distant gunfire in tripoli for the first time… nhar ehraff illela leltek ya geddafi #feb17

@LibyansUnite: i've just received some news that my two uncles have joined in protests, obviously i'm crying bcoz i don't know if they're guna survive this

@evanchill: Tripoli sources to Al Jazeera: Security forces “besieging” the court complex where dozens of judges are protesting. #feb17

@FreeLibyan87:Source from the ground #Gergarish area is like a war zone. with live weapons and mercenaries. #Libya #Feb17

@iyad_elbaghdadi: 250-300 dead in #Benghazi alone since start of protests #Feb17 #Libya

@iyad_elbaghdadi:50 dead in #Benghazi today since afternoon only #Feb17 #Libya

@FreeLibyanman: Guys are keeping females all together in safe places and gathering..

@iyad_elbaghdadi: Live from #Misurata: Confirmation that army & police forces in the city gave up their weapons and joined the protesters #Feb17 #Libya

@iyad_elbaghdadi: #Benghazi: Pharmacies distributing medicine for free; youths taken care of city's security, not a single case of looting reported #Libya

@ChangeInLibya: The libyan word I love so much right now “maqluba” or “upside down”. means all hell has broken loose on #gaddafi ‘s *** #feb17 @ShababLibya

@ShababLibya: Breaking: AJ Caller: Lieutenant Abdel Fatah Younis ElObeidi, has joined protesters (minister of public security) #feb17 #Libya

@ShababLibya: In answer to your questions, yes i do think his fall is soon god willing, i think we will see more ministers join protests first #Libya

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

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