be shot to death."
The witness, who refused to be identified for fear of retribution, said he came upon a group of militiamen as he tried to escape the violence. "The Libyans among them warned me to leave and showed me bodies of the dead," he said. "They told me, 'We were given orders to shoot anybody who moves in the place'."
Armed Gaddafi loyalists, including some apparently from sub-Saharan Africa, were reported to have set up roadblocks and opened fire from rooftops. Another protester described ruthless violence in Green Square. "Men wearing civilian clothing in the square were shooting at us," he told Human Rights Watch. "I saw guys taking off their shirts and exposing their chests to the snipers. I have never seen anything like it. I was very ashamed to hide under a tree but I am human."
Abdullah, said: "It was an insult. He did not say sorry for the killings and all the terrible things his men have been doing. We had really hoped he had gone away, but he is still here and all the troubles will continue and there will be no change."
Inside Libya's first free city: jubilation fails to hide deep wounds
At the heart of the city where he launched his rise to power, Muammar Gaddafi's indignity is now complete. In little more than three days of rampage, the rebels in Libya's second city have done their best to wind the clock back 42 years – to life before the dictator they loathe.
Benghazi has fallen and Gaddafi's bid to cling on to power, whatever the cost, has crumbled with it. There is barely a trace of him now, except for obscene graffiti that mocks him on the dust-strewn walls where his portraits used to hang.
Residents who would not have dared to approach the town's main military base without an invitation were doing victory laps around it in their cars. Every barrack block inside had been torched and looted. The stage where Gaddafi would address the masses on the rare occasions that he came here had collapsed. His house across the road had been ransacked and there wasn't a loyalist soldier inside.
"He is gone. A dragon has been slain," cried Ahmed Al-Fatuuir outside the secret police headquarters. "Now he has to explain where all the bodies are."