Robert Fisk with the first dispatch from Tripoli
This commentary was published in The Independent on 24/02/2011
Gunfire in the suburbs – and hunger and rumour in the capital as thousands race for last tickets out of a city sinking into anarchy
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 in a rain-soaked mob of hungry, desperate families. Many were trampled as Libyan security men savagely beat those who pushed their way to the front.