On the scene: 'We can hear heavy shelling'

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Libyan capital after advancing into heart of city with opposition fighters.

    Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr advanced with opposition fighters into the Libyan capital, eventually reaching the central Green Square in the early hours of Monday. Below are summaries of her reports during the night.

    8.09am (local time): "What we're hearing is heavy shelling in the Bab Al-Aziziyah area, and we're seeing dozens of fighters moving in that direction. There are pockets of resistence in Tripoli, and Bab Al-Aziziyah is one of them.

    "The people of Tripoli really are maintaining law and order in the areas that they are now controlling. They have set up checkpoints, are searching cars and looking for possible Gaddafi supporters. Because, ever since late last night they have been worried about sleeper cells in the capital.

    "There are also international journalists trapped inside the Rixos hotel, which is in the area known as al-Nasr Khor. They are not able to leave the hotel because there are Gaddafi men in the building and around the area. They have been trapped there even before the rebels advanced into the city."

    1:58 am (local time): "We are in Green Square in the centre of the city. There's a party in the Libyan capital tonight. The people are in charge. They've decided the square is now called Martyrs' Square, the original name.

    "They're shouting 'We're free' and even shooting at Gaddafi's poster. People say 'We're finally free to speak, after 41 years. We were prevented from saying what we believed, or any sort of freedom whatsoever.

    "They're convinced the government has fallen. You can see how excited people are. They chant 'God is great'. "There are still some pockets where Gaddafi forces are and people are worried about sleeper cells. But they're now convinced the capital belongs to them."

    1am (local time): "We are 1km from the centre, from the Green Square, but we're not able to reach the area because clashes are taking place as we speak. We hear the sound of gunfire, Gaddafi forces are using using Grad rockets.

    "We understand there are a lot of snipers in the area. Even opposition fighters are telling us they're sending reinforcements.

    "There are other areas in the capital cleared and under rebel control. People are out on the street celebrating, a lot of celebratory gunfire.

    "We know 40 international journalists are now trapped inside a hotel. They are not allowed to leave and there are armed Gaddafi forces inside the hotel preventing them from leaving."

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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