Burning Through The Night

The uprising in Libya intensifies:

Reports from news agencies, Twitter - and witnesses speaking directly to Al Jazeera - are painting a picture of semi-chaos overnight in Tripoli. It appears that some protesters from nearby towns converged on the city, and thousands from the capital itself turned out as well. They were allowed to march to the central Green or Martyrs' Square, which they occupied briefly before being confronted by security forces and pro-Gaddafi protesters, who came out in force after a late-night speech by Saif al-Gaddafi, the leader's son.   

During the night, protesters have broken into and burned a number of government buildings, reportedly including: State television; the main courthouse; a large, centrally located bank; an intelligence agency building; at least two police stations - one in Souq Jamaa and one in Zawadahmany.

Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal has more:

According to GulfNews editor Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Libyan protesters have now taken control of several Libyan cities, thanks to defections by by the military. Clearly, if you thought Mubarak had a loyalty problem, Gaddafi's is much worse. There are reports of defections not just at the military, but among various government workers, including diplomats at the embassy level. Meanwhile, international oil companies are jetting out of town. BP has stopped exploration and ENI has pulled family members of workers. Brent crude in London has hit $105.

The EU is preparing to evacuate all expats. Rolling updates from EA:

0835 GMT: Reports claim State TV headquarters in Tripoli was attacked by Libyan protesters overnight, and other public buildings were set on fire. Snipers reportedly fired on the demonstrators. There are calls across Libya for a march on Muammar Gaddafi's residence in Tripoli after 'Asr prayers, around 4:30 p.m. local time.

0948 GMT: Reports coming in that Libya's government headquarters in Tripoli is on fire. The building is near Martyrs' Square, where protesters are gathered. Eyewitnesses also say that demonstrators have burned all police bureaux in capital Tripoli.

1020 GMT: Asharq Al Awsatclaims Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the Libyan Minister of Justice, has resigned. According to Egypt's Youm7, this is because of the use of live bullets.

1030 GMT: Al Jazeera reports from medical sources that 61 people have been killed in Tripoli today.

1200 GMT: Al-Jazeera English's Gregg Carlstrom reports: "Police colonel in Benghazi tells Al Jazeera that the police 'are fully with the people,' receiving 'confused' orders."

1320 GMT: URGENT Anti-government protests break out in Libyan town of Ras Lanuf, site of oil refinery -Libya's Quryna newspaper (Reuters).

AJE is also live-blogging at a rapid pace. Jillian York is compiling missives from the ground. Mike Giglio relays one:

Ghazi Ramadan, 40, woke up in Tripoli Sunday morning feeling anxious and looking for news about the protests. The last few days had been frightening, he said in a phone interview, with bands of pro-government forces roaming the streets to preemptively disperse any demonstrations. Every time the Internet flashed back on, he rushed to Twitter for updates, but they were slow to come. So he took to keeping his ear glued to the front door, listening for gunshots and other sounds that might bring news of what was happening in the streets. It was after 8 p.m. when Ramadan began to hear anti-government chants. He walked outside to see people, mostly young men, rushing to a nearby square. He decided to join them. “I sensed the opportunity for change,” he said. “I don’t mind being dead. We’ve been dead for 42 years.”

More overnight footage here.