We are tracking the latest developments to keep you updated on the situation on the ground. There are interactive maps located in the Protest map page to keep up with the latest movements. Also check out the featured twitters on the sidebar. On the Go? Follow us on Twitter @Feb17Libya for the Live updates and discussion. All updates are in Libyan local time (GMT +2)
1:06am: The United States said Thursday that Libya’s stockpiles of mustard agent and uranium yellowcake — potential ingredients for chemical and nuclear weapons — are secure.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said US envoy Chris Stevens was speaking with Libyan rebels about their plans to assume control of a site in Tajjura where yellowcake is kept and a mustard agent storage site in Waddan.
“All sensitive elements of Libya’s nuclear program, including everything that Libya received from the (Pakistan-based) AQ Khan network, were removed in early 2004,” Nuland told reporters.
“The last of the highly-enriched uranium, the bomb-making fuel, was removed from Libya in 2009,” she said.
She said Libya’s supply of yellowcake is “safeguarded” at the Tajjura nuclear research facility. Read full story here.
11:58pm: Libyan rebels have transferred their political leadership to the capital Tripoli from their base in Benghazi, a senior official of the National Transitional Council announced Friday.
“I declare the beginning and assumption of the executive committee’s work in Tripoli,” committee vice-chairman Ali Tahuni told a press conference. “Long live democratic and constitutional Libya and glory to our martyrs.”
11:50pm: The United States and South Africa have struck a deal to allow the release of $1.5 billion in frozen Libya funds for humanitarian aid and other civilian needs, UN diplomats said on Thursday.
Council diplomats said the agreement would enable the funds to be released without a UN Security Council vote on a US draft resolution that Washington submitted to the council on Wednesday in response to South Africa blocking a US request to disburse the money in the UN Libya sanctions committee.
7:00pm: Diplomats of the Contact Group on Libya have agreed to speed up release of some $2.5 bn dollars in frozen Libyan assets by the middle of next week. “There are not promises but there is something on the ground moving. We will get about 2.5 bn before the end of the month,” Fathi Baja, the head of the rebel political affairs committee said after the meeting in Istanbul.
6:50pm: The Libya Contact Group of international powers on Thursday urged Muammar Gaddafi to turn himself in to avoid further bloodshed in the North African nation. The group, representing senior diplomats opposed to Gaddafi’s campaign to crush the rebellion and members of Libya’s National Transitional Council, issued a 14-point statement after meeting in Istanbul.
6:00pm: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi called on his supporters on Thursday to march on Tripoli and “purify” the capital of rebels, who he denounced as “rats, crusaders and unbelievers”.
In a short audio speech broadcast on loyalist TV channels, Gaddafi called on all Libya’s tribes to rally and expel what he called foreign agents from the country. ”Libya is for the Libyan people and not for the agents, not for imperialism, not for France, not for Sarkozy, not for Italy,” he said. “Tripoli is for you, not for those who rely on NATO”.
5:30pm: Western powers are working to unblock even a fraction of the $165 billion in Libyan government assets that have been frozen worldwide. The UN Security Council has scheduled a vote today at 3 p.m. on permission to release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets in the U.S. to help the NTC deliver aid and basic services to the residents in the war-torn nation.
5:15pm: The International Monetary Fund would be able to recognize a new Libyan government if such a move were supported by its 187 member countries, a spokesman said. ”When there is a clear, broad-based, international recognition of a new government in Libya, it is at that point the Fund could or would move towards recognition.”
5:oopm: About 200 foreigners desperate to leave Tripoli began boarding a rescue ship chartered by the International Organization for Migration on Thursday after worries about security in the Libyan capital delayed their evacuation for two days.
4:50pm: Turkey-Libyan Business Council Chairman Hüseyin Ersin Takla said they expected to commence talks with Libya’s National Transitional Council for the repayment of completed projects with a total value of $1.4 billion following the end of Eid-al Fitr.
4:40pm: French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged China on Thursday to join Western nations in building a free Libya. Sarkozy said he explained that it was important for the international community to have a common vision for Libya, and that they would like China to participate in next week’s Paris international conference on Libya’s future.
4:30pm: Rebel fighters take up positions during gunfight with sniper loyal to Muammar Gaddafi near the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli. Fierce fighting erupted in central Tripoli on Thursday, with heavy exchanges of machinegun fire between rebel forces and soldiers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
4:20pm: Libya’s National Transitional Council has stated that the assassination of Abdel Fatah Younes was illegitamte, and they have identified his killer.
4:10pm: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday the UN should take “urgent” action to unfreeze Libyan assets and NATO must continue operations until Libya was fully secured. ”The United Nations Security Council should take the necessary steps to meet the Libyan people’s financial needs,” Davutoglu said
4:00pm: The UN should play the central role in international efforts to help rebuild Libya once the war between Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists and the rebels ends, Russia said. ”We proceed from the position that work in the post-conflict development of Libya must be carried out exclusively under the aegis of the U.N. Security Council,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
3:50pm: The South African Football Association said it had signed an agreement with Libya’s football federation to host the 2013 African Cup of Nations in place of Libya. In its statement, SAFA said the agreement will see Libya stage the 2017 Cup of Nations, which was initially awarded to South Africa, with the 2010 World Cup host country taking over the African Cup in two years’ time.
Gaddafi was gone from the unassuming safe house in central Tripoli when agents arrived about 10 a.m. after a tip-off from a credible source. But, they found evidence that he had spent at least one night there though how recently that was is unknown.
3:20pm: A group of rebels besieging a cluster of apartment buildings near the compound of Muammar Gaddafi said they believed the man who led Libya for four decades was hiding in the buildings with some of his sons. Rebels were exchanging fire with Gaddafi loyalists inside the buildings. They did not say why they believed Gaddafi and his sons were inside.
3:10pm: Reporters staying in the Corinthia Hotel saw about a dozen rebels with machine guns and an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the back of a pickup truck battling Thursday afternoon outside the hotel entrance with gunmen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi shooting from high-rise buildings nearby.
3:00pm: Libyan rebels pressed toward Muammar Qaddafi’s coastal hometown of Sirte as his opponents offered a reward for anyone who hands him over dead or alive. “The only thing left is for Qaddafi to be captured or killed at the hands of the revolutionaries,” Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council, said. “The revolution has won.”
2:50pm: More than 30 men believed to be fighters loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have been killed at a military encampment in Tripoli and at least two were bound with plastic handcuffs, indicating they had been executed.
2:40pm: South Africa has declined to release frozen assets to Libya’s rebel-backed government ahead of formal recognition from the UN, a South African foreign ministry spokesman said, underscoring African concerns about the political situation after the collapse of Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.
2:30pm: Four Italian journalists kidnapped and held by suspected loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi have been freed, according to Italy’s foreign ministry. The journalists were reportedly freed during a raid on the house in Tripoli in which they were being held.
2:20pm:Italy has begun unfreezing 350 million euros of Libyan funds in Italian banks in an effort to unblock all of the country’s assets in this country, Silvio Berlusconi said. Italian oil and gas group Eni, the biggest foreign oil operator in Libya, is expected to sign a deal to supply a “large” amount of gas and petrol without payment to serve the immediate needs of Libyans
2:10pm: The Arab League has given its full backing to the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people and said it was time for Libya to take back its permanent seat on the League’s council. The NTC’s representative at the League, Abdelmoneim el-Houni, said Libya would resume its League membership at a meeting of Arab ministers on Saturday
2:00pm: Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the UN should play the central role in rebuilding Libya following violence that has continued since rebels drove Muammer Gaddafi from Tripoli. ”We proceed from the position that work in the post-conflict development of Libya must be carried out exclusively under the aegis of the U.N. Security Council,” said spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
12:45pm Britain’s defense secretary says NATO intelligence and reconnaissance assets are being used in the hunt to track down Mammar Gaddafi. Defense Secretary Liam Fox said Thursday that NATO was playing an active role in efforts to locate the fugitive Libyan dictator, but didn’t offer specifics on the types of tasks the military coalition is carrying out.
12:40pm Sue Turton, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tripoli, said locals are very worried that there are going to be attacks by pro-Gaddafi supporters across the city. ”There are checkpoints popping up all over the city. Locals are managing to get hold of weapons to police their streets,” said.
12:30pm A U.S. writer who had been held captive in Libya after being captured in the early months of the conflict has escaped from prison. Matthew VanDyke, 32, travelled from his home in Maryland after seeing the battles unfold on TV when unrest began in February.
12:17pm: Four Italian journalists who were abducted near Zawiya in Libya on Wednesday have been freed, Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported on its web site.
Two of the journalists worked for Corriere della Sera, while the others were reporters for La Stampa and Avvenire newspapers.
The Italian consul in Benghazi, Guido de Sanctis, said after the kidnap that they were being held in an apartment in Tripoli.
He said their driver was killed during the abduction and they were believed to have been held by gunmen loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
“Driving around Tripoli and its suburbs not getting any easier, Suspicion at so many check points increasing”
12:10pm The International Organization for Migration says a ship chartered to rescue hundreds of foreigners from Tripoli has managed to dock in the Libyan capital’s port after waiting offshore for days due to fighting.
An IOM spokeswoman says the security situation in the port has improved sufficiently for the vessel to dock.
11:48am Al Jazeera has gained access to part of an underground tunnel network beneath Muammar Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli. Fighting for overall control of the area around Bab al-Aziziyah is still going on. Libyan Revolution: Rebels explore Gaddafi’s bunker
11:46am Libya’s new masters are keen to forge ahead and secure the funds they need to bring relief to war-battered towns and rebuild the oil sector on which the economy depends. NTC diplomats meet their Western backers in Turkey on Thursday.
After talks with Arab and Western allies in Qatar on Wednesday, a senior rebel leader said the NTC would seek to have $5 billion in frozen assets released to jump-start the economy and provide vital relief to its citizens. The United States has also submitted a draft resolution to the U.N Security Council to unfreeze $1.5 billion in Libyan assets.
11:40am China’s initial hostility toward the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi and its belated outreach to Libya’s rebels could mean that Chinese firms eager to return to the country after the conflict will be at the back of the line.
The director of UNESCO is also cautioning the international art and antiquities trade to be “particularly wary of objects from Libya in the present circumstances” because they might be stolen.
11:34am Analysts are split about how fast Libya’s oil production could return to its prewar levels of about 1.5 million barrels a day from its current 60,000. Some expect output to fully recover by next year while others worry political instability and damaged infrastructure could stymie the oil industry for several years.
11:31am The head of Libya’s rebel Cabinet arrives in Italy for a meeting with Premier Silvio Berlusconi on a European diplomatic tour aimed at security the release of billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets.
11:15am The bodies of 17 rebels killed Tuesday by Gadhafi forces near the longtime leader’s compound were taken Wednesday to a hospital in eastern Tripoli, a doctor there told CNN. As the Gadhafi forces began to execute them, rebel forces began storming Bab al-Azizia, a doctor said. The resulting confusion gave some of the captives the chance to escape, he said.
9:46pm: Audio: Mohammed Ali Abdallah from NFSL talks about possible massacre at Tripoli prison
9:30pm: Muammar Gaddafi will try to sell part of Libya’s gold reserves to pay for his protection and sow chaos among tribes in the north African country, said his former central bank governor Farhat Bengdara.
Bengdara, who has allied himself with the Libyan rebels, told the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, that an ally of Gaddafi had offered 25 tonnes of gold to his friend “a little time ago”.
“My friend referred it to me and I suggested that he refuse and my friend immediately rejected the approach. But it is a clear indication,” Bengdara said in the interview published on Thursday. He said his friend was not Libyan but gave no further details.
There are gold reserves worth $10 billion in Tripoli and Gaddafi could have taken some of that amount, he said.
Bengdara said he believed that Gaddafi had fled Tripoli and could be heading towards the Algerian border. Read full story here.
8:40am: The NATO military alliance is giving intelligence and reconnaissance assistance to Libyan rebels hunting Muammar Gaddafi and his sons, British defence minister Liam Fox said on Thursday.
“I can confirm that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets to the NTC (National Transitional Council) to help them track down Colonel Gaddafi and other remnants of the regime,” he told Sky News.
He declined to comment on a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph that British special forces were on the ground in Libya assisting with the hunt.
7:55am: Maram Wafa, a resident of Tripoli, spoke to Al Jazeera earlier and urged everyone in the city to “please remain [at] home, remain safe because the city is full of snipers”.
“The city is really not safe, even if it is under our control still it is really not safe, we really have to be careful,” she told Al Jazeera.
“Everyone is staying indoors, everyone is staying indoors and we have to because we will make things more difficult, more complicated [for] the freedom fighters on the streets. They will not be able to completely focus on what is going on around them because they will automatically want to protect us.
“So believe me, stay indoors, it will be much safer first and second of all you will be doing a favour to these fighters.”