Robert Fisk: Tripoli is now a city standing in shadow of death
Published 24/02/2011 | 05:00
Up to 15,000 men, women and children besieged Tripoli's international airport last night, shouting and screaming for seats on the few airliners still prepared to fly to Muammar Gaddafi's rump state, paying Libyan police bribe after bribe to reach the ticket desks.
Many were trampled as Libyan security beat those who pushed their way to the front.
Among them were Gaddafi's fellow Arabs, thousands of them Egyptians, some of whom had been living at the airport for two days without food or sanitation. The place stank of faeces and urine. Yet a 45-minute visit into the city for a new airline ticket to another destination is the only chance to see Gaddafi's capital if you are a "dog" of the international press.