Muammar Gaddafi Speech in Tripoli: 'Dance and Sing' (Video)
Moammar Gadhafi Speaks in Tripoli as Soldiers Shoot Civilians
Even as government forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators, Muammar Gaddafi addressed his supporters in Tripoli's Green Square, telling them to "sing, dance and be happy", and that he was "one of the people".
Libyan state television broadcast the Gaddafi speech, but there's no way to verify if it was actually live.
Normally, evening demonstrations started just after evening prayers, but this time anti-government protesters stormed out of Libya's mosques early, as state-written sermons were being read.
The eastern part of Libya is understood to be out of Gaddafi's control. According to Reuters Africa, the town of Brega is now under rebel control. Brega is home to a major oil termial. Shipping and production are shut down, but no reports of major damage to its oil-processing infrastructure have been reported.
As demonstrations began in Tripoli following the midday prayer, security forces loyal to Gaddafi reportedly began firing on them. There was heavy gun fire in various Tripoli districts including Fashloum, Ashour, Jumhouria and Souq Al, sources told Al Jazeera.
"The security forces fired indiscriminately on the demonstrators," said a resident of one of the capital's eastern suburbs.
"There were deaths in the streets of Sug al-Jomaa," the resident said.
The death toll since the violence began remains unclear, though on Thursday Francois Zimeray, France's top human rights official, said it could be as high as 2,000 people killed.