Pro-Gadhafi Supporters Celebrate En Masse In Tripoli

Tripoli, Libya -- Throngs of demonstrators supporting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime celebrated in the streets of Tripoli on Sunday as the government proclaimed triumph in several Libyan cities.

Tripoli, Libya -- Throngs of demonstrators supporting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime celebrated in the streets of Tripoli on Sunday as the government proclaimed triumph in several Libyan cities.

But at least one of the cities the government claimed was in military hands - Tobruk -- was still in opposition control, a witness in the eastern Libyan city said.

A government official said early-morning gunfire in Libya's capital were celebratory -- marking the army's victory in the city of Zawiya and its presence in the oil town of Ras Lanuf. Pro-Gadhafi demonstrators said they were also celebrating the government's victory in the city of Misrata.

Rebel fighters pray during a battle near Ras Lanuf

Supporters carrying Libya's green flag lined streets in Tripoli. People in cars fired shots into the air, which was filled with the sound of car horns.

On Sunday morning, Libyan state TV showed video of Gadhafi supporters in Tripoli's Green Square, with the caption "Green Square now." The broadcast zoomed in on a clock to show the actual time and showed a person holding a sign that showed Sunday's date.

The station said the people in the square were also celebrating the army gaining control of the eastern port city of Tobruk. "Morning victory, O people of Libya. Victory city of Tobruk from terrorist gangs," the station said.

Tobruk is still under the control of the opposition, a witness in the city told CNN Sunday.

Just a day earlier, opposition forces had claimed two major successes: preventing pro-government forces from taking Zawiya, near Tripoli, and capturing the strategic town of Ras Lanuf.

CNN has not been able to enter Zawiya on Sunday and did not have independent confirmation of Sunday's events in Ras Lanuf or Misrata.

Rebel fighters pray during a battle near Ras Lanuf

On Saturday, Libyan opposition leaders announced an alternative government as the United States and other countries helped evacuate refugees of the conflict.

And rebels near Ras Lanuf said they shot down a Libyan air force plane, a Soviet-made Sukhoi Su-24MK that crashed in the desert, on Saturday. CNN located the plane's debris, spread over a kilometer (about half a mile), with the headless bodies of two pilots at the site.

The plane was printed with the emblem of the Libyan Arab Air Force.

After capturing Ras Lanuf on Saturday, emboldened opposition members said they prepared to advance west to Gadhafi's birthplace of Sirte.

Government forces, however, worked to thwart their push. CNN reporters following the movement of rebels in As Sidr, just west of Ras Lanuf, saw an air force helicopter pound opposition positions. There was no word on casualties.

On Saturday, a pro-democracy activist in Tripoli who spoke to CNN described a city filled with tension and mistrust. The woman, who asked not to be named because of fears for her safety, said she has seen people in the streets who, she believes, are monitoring residents' comings and goings and phone conversations.

"I see cars that have people inside them, and they are usually connected with a computer," the woman said, adding that special antennae are connected to the computers.

The same people are also interrupting cell phone signals and hacking mobiles, she said, and the internet has been unavailable since Thursday.

Captured soldiers from forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi are presented by rebels after clashes for control of downtown Zawiya, west of the capital, Tripoli.

The strife engulfing the besieged north African nation is reverberating across the country, the region and the world. Death toll estimates range from more than 1,000 to as many as 2,000, and the international community has been pondering strategies on how to end the violence and remove the Gadhafi regime.

The government has been reviled across the globe for violence against civilians, and the International Criminal Court has launched an investigation of Gadhafi, some of his sons and other leaders for possible crimes against humanity.

Opposition-controlled radio announced Saturday that the country's sole legitimate representative was now the National Transitional Council, a group with 31 representatives for most of the regions in Libya.

The council held its first meeting Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi. They called Benghazi their temporary location until the "liberation" of the capital, according to a decree the council issued late in the day.

Former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdeljeleel, whom the council said had tried to resign from Gadhafi's government several times, was announced as the council's new leader.

The council also named a representative for military affairs and established a military council to oversee the "liberation" of Libya and reconstruct the armed forces, according to the radio announcement.

The council said its main missions are to represent all of Libya internationally, liberate the country, draft a constitution and hold elections.

In Benghazi, witnesses said forces loyal to Gadhafi pounded a weapons depot, an air strike that caused casualties and widespread damage.

One witness said the air strike was powerful enough "to destroy a whole city." News footage showed the remains of buildings and debris and ambulances arriving.

Such aerial attacks have prompted the West to step up discussions about imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. U.S. military and diplomatic officials have said such a zone would be complicated and risky, and international support for it is not strong.

"If it's ordered, we can do it," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week, but imposing a no-fly zone "begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses."

The fierce fighting has sparked the flight of Libyans and foreigners out of Libya, with nations across the globe scrambling to help people leave.

Almost 200,000 people have fled Libya with nearly equal numbers going to Tunisia and Egypt, the United Nations refugee agency said.

The United States announced Saturday it is contributing $3 million to the International Organization for Migration to help return home thousands of non-Libyans who fled to Tunisia.

A few thousand Egyptians were in Tunisia awaiting travel home Saturday, and more than 10,000 Bangladeshis there were awaiting evacuation with hundreds more still arriving, said Firas Kayal, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

The agency confirmed that a Bangladeshi migrant worker died after a heart attack from the exhaustion of walking to the border. Many migrant workers told aid workers they had to walk to the border because soldiers took their money and they couldn't afford paying for a taxi.

CNN