Colonel Gaddafi appeared to be losing his grip on power in Libya today.

The Daily Mail reported that Libya’s hardline leader is believed to have fled the capital of Tripoli after anti-government demonstrators stormed the state television, but this is yet to be confirmed by other sources.

The regime has come under intense pressure after a wave of protests hit Tripoli overnight.

Demonstrators opposing Gaddafi’s 41-year-old regime have reportedly taken control of Libya’s second city Benghazi after military units deserted their posts.

Since the protests first began, around 400 protestors are believed to have been killed when security forces opened fire on them.

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Several senior officials have also reportedly defected to the side of protesters.

The Libyan justice minister Mustapha Abdel Jalil resigned in protest at the “excessive use of violence” against the protesters, according to the Quryna newspaper.

Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, remains defiant. During a TV address on state television, Saif Gaddafi said his father would fight “until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet”

But he conceded that protesters had taken over eastern cities of al-Bayda and Benghazi.