Terrified Tripoli Residents Brace For More Violence

Benghazi, Libya -- Gunfire rang out during the night in Libya's capital, tension slicing the morning air Saturday as a defiant Moammar Gadhafi vied to preserve his four decades of power.

Gadhafi still appears to control Tripoli, though many other parts of the north African nation, despite a bloody crackdown, have slipped from his grasp over days of popular uprising.

As the demonstrations gained momentum, so, too, has international pressure on Gadhafi, long considered a pariah in the global community. A United Nations Security Council panel prepared to meet Saturday to discuss sanctions on the Libyan strongman.

More than 200 Arab organizations and a group of 30 prominent intellectuals from across the Middle East and North Africa urged global bodies, including the Security Council, the European Union and the African Union, to take action to limit further humanitarian consequences.

"We fear we may be witnessing the calm before the storm," said their statement. "The window of opportunity to prevent further atrocities from occurring is closing fast. The people of Libya need you to act quickly and decisively."