March 24, 2011 / 2:33 PM / in 7 years

TIMELINE-Libya's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi

March 24 (Reuters) - Here is a timeline on the revolt in Libya since the first protests began last month:

Feb 15/16 - A riot in Benghazi is triggered by the arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel, who has worked to free political prisoners, Quryna newspaper says.

Feb. 17 - Activists designate this day as a day of rage. It is the anniversary of clashes in 2006 in Benghazi when security forces killed protesters attacking the city’s Italian consulate.

Feb 21 - Diplomats at Libya’s mission to the United Nations side with the revolt against their country’s leader and call on the Libyan army to help overthrow “the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi”.

Feb. 22 - A defiant Gaddafi vows to die “a martyr” in Libya and says he will crush a revolt which has seen eastern regions break free from four decades of his rule.

Feb. 24 - Anti-Libyan government militias take control of Misrata after evicting forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Feb. 26 - The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Gaddafi and his family, and refers Libya’s crackdown on rebels to the International Criminal Court.

Feb. 28 - EU governments approve a package of sanctions against Gaddafi and his closest advisers including an arms embargo and bans on travel to the bloc.

-- Gaddafi refuses to acknowledge the protests in the streets of Tripoli, saying all Libyans love him.

March 1 - The U.N. General Assembly unanimously suspends Libya’s membership of the U.N. Human Rights Council because of violence against protesters by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

March 5 - The national council meets in Benghazi and declares itself sole representative for Libya.

March 10 - Warplanes sent by forces loyal to Gaddafi bomb the oil town of Brega, extending attacks deeper into rebel-held territory in the east of Libya, rebels report.

-- Gaddafi takes back control of Zawiyah, about 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli.

-- France recognises the Libyan National Council, the rebel body fighting to oust Gaddafi, as the legitimate representative of Libya’s people, the first country to make such a move.

March 11 - Libya suspends diplomatic relations with France.

March 12 - The Arab League calls for a U.N. no-fly zone over Libya. A meeting in Cairo decides that “serious crimes and great violations” committed by the Gaddafi government against his people have stripped it of legitimacy.

March 16 - Forces loyal to Gaddafi are near rebel-held Benghazi and “everything will be over in 48 hours”, Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam tells France-based TV channel Euronews.

March 17 - The U.N. Security Council votes to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” -- code for military action -- to protect civilians against Gaddafi’s army.

March 19 - The first air strikes halt the advance of Gaddafi’s forces on Benghazi and target Libya’s air defences.

-- Gaddafi says there is no justification for a U.N. resolution aimed at ending violence in Libya and calls it “blatant colonialism”, al Jazeera reports.

March 20 - Libya declares a fresh ceasefire contradicting a defiant speech by Gaddafi in which he said he is giving out weapons to his people.

March 21 - Western forces launch a second wave of air strikes on Libya overnight and officials in Tripoli say a missile intended to kill Gaddafi destroys a building in his fortified compound.

March 22 - Western warplanes fly more than 300 sorties over Libya and fire more than 162 Tomahawk cruise missiles in the mission to protect Libyan civilians.

-- “We will not surrender,” Gaddafi tells supporters forming a human shield to protect him at his Tripoli compound. “This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history,” Gaddafi says in his first public appearance since the air strikes began.

March 23 - Government forces continue to shell the rebel-held town of Misrata, killing dozens. They also attack the town of Zintan near the Tunisian border.

March 24 - Britain says it has launched guided Tomahawk missiles from a submarine at air defence targets as part of the coalition’s plan to enforce the U.N. resolution.

-- Western warplanes hit military targets deep inside Libya but fail to prevent tanks re-entering Misrata overnight and laying siege to its main hospital and port.

-- A French fighter jet shoots down a Libyan warplane over Misrata in the first violation of the coalition no-fly zone over the country, ABC News says.

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