Middle East

Libya protests: Your stories

Pressure has mounted on isolated Libyan ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi after a chorus of international condemnation and resignations by top officials.

The man considered the colonel's number two, Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younes al-Abidi, is among senior figures who have joined the opposition.

Here are some of the stories of people who live in Libya or have left the country:

Khaleel in Tripoli: 'Streets are really quiet'

Yesterday night after Gaddafi's speech a few key pro-government protesters came out wearing green flags and chanting pro-government slogans. Some were armed with Kalashnikov rifles.

The rumour going round is that if you were wearing green flags tied around their chests they would give you guns. Many people, civil people were holding machine guns on the street.

Anti-government protesters have disappeared.

The streets are quiet, because there are many, many, many deaths; many killed. Hundreds of casualties in hospitals.

They have also told me that all of a sudden people have stormed into hospitals, shooting at anyone who comes near to them and killing people. Also that dead people have been burned and buried so that you can't get to them.

As never before, Gaddafi was so nervous on his speech. He was basically saying it's me or no one, I'm not president but I will keep fighting until I die. My response to that is that we should insist on the efforts of removing him and bringing him to justice.

The streets today are really quiet because there was heavy rain for hours. People are going around in cars, all shops are closed. All government offices are closed.

A British woman: "In Janzur there are mercenaries shooting people."

"We've just returned from Libya - a European Embassy managed to get us out. British Embassy diplomats were leaving the country on Monday, but there are still ex-pats there who can't get out and who are terrified.

We live near Janzur. It's usually a quiet zone, but now there are mercenaries shooting people in the street.

I spoke to my friend in Libya yesterday who told me that has been heavier fire where they are today - there was bombing.

It was difficult to get out of the country. We were offered an evening flight, but we were advised not to go out after prayers as that is when the violence starts. Finally we managed to get to the airport on Tuesday morning, it was absolutely packed.

Friends of ours who also managed to make it to the airport were stopped on their way there and told to get out of bus, and lie on the road with their hands to their heads. They are fine, but it was extremely traumatic.

Now you can't get in touch with anyone in Libya because telephones aren't working. I'm very anxious about my friends."

Rob McKenzie: 'We heard about mercenaries hired to kill demonstrators'

Image caption "We had heard about mercenaries hired to kill demonstrators"

My Egyptian co-workers and I got out of Tripoli last night.

I work in Cairo but we have a branch in Tripoli so I've been there for two weeks. We first heard that there were problems over the weekend, but Benghazi is 1000km away and we didn't think it would affect us.

On Sunday I was visiting one of our oil companies in Tripoli - even then in the afternoon, there were demonstrators but it wasn't really that serious. Then in the evening we'd heard reports that there were killings.

On Monday, we decided that we should try and get tickets to get out because it was turning serious. We saw Chinooks going backwards and forwards. I believe it was said that they were firing down on the crowds - I couldn't tell you whether that is true or not but I saw them flying backwards and forwards.

We'd heard that the airport was chaotic but we decided to go and see what happened. Our driver had told us that there were armed people on the roads and we didn't know if these guys were pro or anti-Gaddafi so we were extremely nervous. We had heard about mercenaries hired to kill demonstrators. The roads were quiet though as there had just been a big rainstorm.

Inside the airport, the British Embassy had one lady doing a great job but she seemed to be getting absolutely no support from the office. The German Embassy, meanwhile, had a person outside the terminal organising a flight for their people and helping them get in to the terminal.

I agree with the criticism of the British Embassy today - in times like these we look to the Embassy to help and I felt they let us down. This should be David Cameron's priority. I just hope that the rest of the people we left there have now made it out.

British oil worker: 'We are living every day in fear of our lives'

A British oil worker, stranded in the middle of the Libyan desert with some 300 others, has said the UK government is ignoring their desperate pleas for rescue.

James Coyle told the Today programme that they only have one day's supply of food and water, and no means of protecting themselves from armed looters, who have already raided nearby camps.

"At the end of the day we are living a nightmare," he said. "We are here, desperate for the British government to come and get us".

Sebastian: 'The telephones are cut'

Sebastian, who is a teacher in Libya, has just managed to return to Europe.

Sebastian spoke to the BBC's Bill Whiteford and told him that there were chilling signs that the regime was murdering protesters.

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