Gadhafi Hits Mass Protests with Tear Gas

State television said the town of Zawiya was recaptured by pro-Gadhafi forces, while rebels said they’d taken control of the airport at Ras Linuf, the city where government forces took refuge following a battle days ago.

“Victory or death. We will not stop till we liberate all this country,” said Libya’s former justice minister, now an opposition member. Amid the clashes, some foreign reporters were barred from leaving their hotel in Tripoli; eventually they were allowed to leave on buses to locations handpicked by the government.

A BBC reporter in the eastern suburb of Tajoura said demonstrators had burnt the official Libyan flag.

Secret police had tightened security in the area earlier, and Gaddafi loyalists set up traffic checkpoints.

Clashes also erupted in the town of Zawiya and the oil port of Ras Lanuf, with heavy casualties reported.