Libya, Day 10: Overnight Updates

 Scott Lucas starts us off:

State media is reporting that the Minister of the Interior, Major General Abdul Fatah Younis, has been kidnapped hours after he dramatically broke ranks with Qaddafi --- his friend and ally since the regime took power in 1969 --- by resigning and calling on the armed forces to join the "February 17 Revolution".

This could be disinformation: in his speech yesterday, made just before Younis announced his departure, Qaddafi said the Minister of Interior had survived an assassination attempt. Or it could be a pre-emptive strike by the Libyan leader: Younis said late last night that the assassination attempt was by Qaddafi's own men, and today's rumour may be a signal that Younis has indeed been removed from the scene by abduction or worse.

More on Younis here. The latest from AJE:

12:51am: A pro-Gaddaffi Libyan police colonel says two "Islamic emirates" have been set up in the east of the country, and that drivers carrying food aid are too scared to drive to Benghazi, the site of the beginning of the uprising, because the people there are on hallucinogenic drugs. ... Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh says that all speakers in Libya's state TV press conference keep repeating that "assailants" and arrested men "are on hallucination pills".

4:51am The first major evacuation vessel sponsored by the US Government is set to evacuate American citizens from Libya.

5:54am Peru has become the first country to sever diplomatic ties with Libya in the wake of the Gaddafi regime's brutal suppression of the uprising there. Foreign minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said he would ask the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over the country. Peru's action sets itself apart from at least one nearby country, Nicaragua, which has offered support to Gaddafi. ...

Latin American leaders who have long been friendly with Gaddafi - such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro - are being noticeably silent on the revolt in Libya and its violent suppression, Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman notes.

6:00am More evidence that suggests foreign troops are being used in Libya - or at least that Libyans believe this to be the case. This video of a dead man shows someone holding what appear to be identification documents, possibly a passport, that looks like it bears the name "Republique du Niger" and the country's coat of arms. There is no way to verify whether the man bore arms.

1:46pm A British oil worker stranded with others in a camp in eastern Libya has called on his government to rescue them from a "nightmare" scenario. James Coyle told the BBC that he and around 300 other Britons, Germans, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Austrians and Romanians were stranded at the desert camp with only enough food and water to "maybe" last one day. Residents of nearby towns armed with AK-47s have come to the camp multiple times to take supplies, he said.

1:55pm The European reaction to Libya begins to get stronger: Following on the French president's call for EU sanctions, UK prime minister David Cameron has said he wants to see a full UN security council resolution regarding the bloody violence in Libya, the Reuters news agency reports.

2:23pm We're now broadcasting live from inside Libya; specifically, from the eastern city of Tobruk, which we hear is under protester control. Our footage shows an anti-Gaddafi rally, with people holding "Free Libya" signs.

A description of the above video:

From an intermediary, we've received mobile phone footage from a young Libyan in Tripoli that allegedly depicts gunfire in the Zawid Dahmani neighborhood of the capital last night, amid an ongoing and extremely violent security crackdown. You can hear a large explosion in the background - we're told it occurred at the "TV building" in the neighborhood. You can also hear a baby crying.

Below is another new clip, which shows "'mercenaries' attacking in Benghazi on Thursday. The screams of terrified onlookers are chilling":

Yesterday's round-ups are here and here.