Libya: Troops Being Killed For Refusing to Fight (Video Report)

Report: Soldiers at a local army base tied up and burned alive

Government forces shot dead at least two protesters in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday, television stations reported, as a popular uprising against Muammar Gaddafi closed in on his main power base.

Gaddafi appeared on the central Green Square to make an impassioned speech of defiance, after witnesses described swirling clashes on streets all around the city between security forces loyal to the 68-year-old leader and crowds of protesters

Al Jazeera television said two people had been killed and several wounded in heavy shooting in several districts. Another channel, Al Arabiya, said seven people had been killed.

By around 5 p.m. (10 a.m. EST), some protests had been dispersed but others were continuing, a resident from central Tripoli told Reuters.

Reporters had little freedom to move around. Foreign journalists escorted in to the city from the airport by Gaddafi loyalists were confined to hotels.

Just before 7 p.m., Gaddafi appeared to address tens of thousands of his supporters massed on the capital's central Green Square in a speech broadcast live on state television