Anti-government protests began in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on 15-16 February, but spread rapidly westwards, reaching the capital, Tripoli, on 20 February. Officials denied anyone had been injured in clashes between security forces and protesters. But a former orderly at a Tripoli hospital mortuary, who has fled to Tunisia, told the BBC’s Pascale Harter what he saw:
Many young people went to protest in Green Square that day, and I believe almost no-one came back alive that night.
Between 600 and 700 people were killed. I know this because I carried the bodies into my hospital.
Each ambulance brought three or four dead people. And the ambulances just kept coming and going, like delivery vans dropping off goods.
Every one of Tripoli’s ambulances – and we have a lot of them – was out on the roads, carrying dead bodies.