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25 February 2011

Benghazi: in pictures

Much of eastern Libya is under the control of protesters. Here are photographs from inside the count

By Samira Shackle

Above, an opposition militiaman stands guard in front of a charred national security building. It was destroyed last weekend as opposition forces battled troops loyal to Muammar al-Gaddafi.

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Here, Citizens turn in automatic weapons ammunition to a militiaman. Benghazi is largely under opposition control as Gaddafi’s forces focus on battling rebels near the capital, Tripoli.

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Here, demonstrators in Benghazi call for Gaddafi to be removed. World leaders will attempt to co-ordinate a response to the crisis at a meeting of the UN Security Council this morning.

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A Libyan border guard walks through an empty customs hall on the border with Egypt. A no-fly zone and sanctions are possible options on the table for leaders of other countries. Switzerland says it has frozen Gaddafi’s assets.

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Opposition militiamen speak at a national security building in Benhgazi. In the past eight days, Gaddafi has used aircraft, tanks and foreign mercenaries, killing hundreds. According to some estimates, up to 2,000 people may have died.

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El-Faitory Meftah el-Bouras holds a portrait of his son Fathig during a protest. El-Bouras says his son was just one of many thousands of political prisoners killed during Gaddafi’s rule.

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Demonstrators climb flagpoles. Despite the carnage the city has suffered, people are celebrating their victory and the prospect of a life outside dictatorship.

All photographs: AFP/Getty Images.