Overnight on Thursday 25 August, the rebels attacked the district of Abu Slim in Tripoli, hunting down loyal Gaddafi officials and their families.
France 24 TV correspondent Matthieu Mabin, reporting from Tripoli, provides a particularly chilling account:
"What happened had less to do with fighting than with stamping out the last pockets of Gaddafi faithfuls, or rather the artisans, technicians and low ranking officials employed by the state, most of whom were housed in blocks of flats concentrated in the Abu Slim neighborhood and who lacked the means to get away in order to evade the lethal sanctions of the rebels. What we are seeing today is certainly the saddest phase of the Libyan war, with columns of rebels who are assailing this area, these people, the families who are esconced in these tenement buildings.
Our colleagues have just returned after an all-night coverage at the main Tripoli hospital, reporting the arrival of a large number of gunshot victims, including elderly people, women and even children. The CNT has remained completely silent about this. No call to surrender has been issued. We are undoubtedly entering the saddest phase of the conflict and it is likely that the CNT and the rebels will have to account for their abuses [...].
We have reached a degree of cleansing that appears to be totally out of control, mostly at the hands of the gangs from Misrata, the martyr city of Libya, which have come all the way to Tripoli to carry out their revenge. "