The 2011 Libyan protests began as a series of protests and confrontations occurring in the North African state of Libya against the Government of Libya and its de facto leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. The unrest began on 15 February 2011 and continues to the present. Protests have centered on Libya’s two largest cities, the capital of Tripoli in the west, and Benghazi in the east and tends to spread to other cities. On 18 February, demonstrators took control over most of Benghazi, the country’s second-largest city, with some support from police and defecting military units. The government reacted by sending elite troops and mercenaries, which were resisted by Benghazi’s inhabitants and insurrectionary members of the military. By 20 February, more than 200 people had been killed in Benghazi. Protests in Tripoli have centered around Green Square. On 21 February, Libyan Air Force aircraft attacked civilian protesters in Tripoli, drawing international condemnation. The New York Times reported that “the crackdown in Libya has proven the bloodiest of the recent government actions. Several Libyan officials have stepped down over the course of the protests while others have distanced themselves from Gaddafi and his government, declaring his current regime as illegitimate and accusing him of genocide and crimes against humanity in his attacks against the people of Libya.
As of 23 February 2011, most towns and cities in Libya are reported to be under the control of the Libyan opposition and not the government of Muammar al-Gaddafi. Thanx to Wikipedia.

The Libyan Protests

01. Protesters chant anti-government slogans as they demonstrate in a square in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. Thousands of Libyans celebrated the liberation of the eastern city of Benghazi from the rule of Muammar Gaddafi, who was reported to have sent a plane to bomb them on Wednesday as he clung to power. The crew bailed out of the aircraft after it took off from the capital Tripoli. It then came down south-west of Benghazi, Libya's Quryna newspaper cited a military source as saying, averting a fresh bloodshed in almost a week of violence. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

02. Protesters chant anti-government slogans while an effigy depicting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is hung in a square in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

03. Protesters chant anti-government slogans in a square in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

04. A protester covers his face with a Libyan flag as he sleeps in a square where demonstrators chant anti-government slogans in Benghazi city, Libya. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

05. A protester holds a poster depicting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as he stands over a lamp post in Benghazi city. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

06. A boy wearing a military police uniform chants anti-government slogans in a street in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

07. A protester has his face painted with the colours of the Kingdom of Libya flag during a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in Attard, outside Valletta, February 23, 2011. The protest was organised by the Libyan community living in Malta against the Libyan government's crackdown on demonstrators in Libya. REUTERS/DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI

The Libyan Protests

08. A protester has his face painted with the colours of the Kingdom of Libya flag during a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in Attard, outside Valletta, February 23, 2011. The protest was organised by the Libyan community living in Malta against the Libyan government's crackdown on demonstrators in Libya. REUTERS/DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI

The Libyan Protests

09. Protesters chant anti-government slogans while holding a poster depicting the Libyan leader Gaddafi in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. The banner reads "No comment youth of 17th February". REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

10. A protester reacts after viewing the latest video clips from Libya on the internet during a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in Attard, outside Valletta, February 23, 2011. The protest was organised by the Libyan community living in Malta against the Libyan government's crackdown on demonstrators in Libya. REUTERS/DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI

The Libyan Protests

11. Protesters react after viewing the latest video clips from Libya on the internet during a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in Attard, outside Valletta, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI

The Libyan Protests

12. Protesters chant anti-government slogans while holding a poster depicting the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as a pig and reads 'no comment' in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

13. An anti-government protester wearing a military uniform holds up an RPG launcher that was brought back after it was stolen from a military unit as people bring back stolen weapons to a state security building taken over by anti-government protesters in Ben Ghazi February 23, 2011. People in Benghazi said earlier they now felt safe enough to start handing in weapons recovered after security forces lost control of the Libyan city. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

14. An anti-government protester looks at a security building taken over and burnt by anti-government protesters in Benghazi February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

15. An anti-government protester prays in a state security building taken over by anti-government protesters in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

16. A state security building taken over by anti-government protesters is seen in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

17. Munitions lie in a state security building taken over by anti-government protesters in Ben Ghazi February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

18. Protesters chant anti-government slogans in a square in Benghazi February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

19. Protesters chant anti-government slogans in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

20. A protester looks at the pictures of protesters who were killed during the last few days during the uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

21. Protesters are seen close from the sea port of Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

22. Anti-government protesters sit by the seaside near a square where people gather for protests in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

23. An anti-government protester holds a banner depicting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. The characters read "I'm the only devil" (top) and "the waste bin of history". REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

24. Protesters chant anti-government slogans while an effigy depicting the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is seen near the North Benghazi court building which was taken over by demonstrators in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

25. Anti-government protesters make victory signs as they stand on an army tank near a square where people are protesting in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

26. An anti-government protester writes on an army tank near a square where people are protesting in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. The characters read "people want the removal of the regime". REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

27. Protesters chant anti-government slogans while holding a Libyan flag in a square in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

28. An anti-government protester holds a picture of a victim of the protests which took place in the last few days during a protest in a square in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

29. A protester looks at the pictures of protesters who were killed during the last few days during the uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

30. People walk past a burnt army vehicle in al-Marj city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

31. An anti-government protester puts his hand around toy dogs that has the name of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam near a square where people are protesting in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

32. Protesters chant anti-government slogans in Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011. REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH

The Libyan Protests

33. Turkish citizens leave a ferry as they arrive from Libya, at the Mediterranean port of Marmaris late February 23, 2011. Governments around the world scrambled on Wednesday to send planes and ships to evacuate their citizens from turmoil in Libya, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi has vowed to crush a revolt against his 41-year rule. Turkey, with 25,000 citizens in Libya, is mounting the biggest evacuation operation in its history, and 21 other governments have asked Ankara for help getting their nationals out, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference. REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL

The Libyan Protests

34. Turkish citizens leave a ferry as they arrive from Libya, at the Mediterranean port of Marmaris late February 23, 2011. REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL

The Libyan Protests

35. Turkish citizens wait for buses at the port after their arrival from Libya at the Mediterranean port of Marmaris late February 23, 2011. REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL