Live

Watch CBSN Live

Libyan rebels in Zawiya hold their ground

TRIPOLI - People in the town of Zawiya, just 30 miles from the capital Tripoli, have turned on leader Muammar Qaddafi and say they're surrounded by government forces. They have now fought off his forces for days. At least two dozen are dead.

The opposition has its own heavy weapons and snipers and is determined to hold ground.

"We need freedom. That's all, that's all we need," one man said. "We need freedom. I am 30 years old. We never saw any president, just Muammar Qaddafi. We need another people. We need young people. Open-mind people. That's what we need."

It is believed at least 1,000 people have been killed in Libya since the violence began two weeks ago. The U.N. also estimates at least 100,000 people have fled the country.

Complete coverage: Anger in the Arab world

Reporting from Tripoli, CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella said a Libyan government spokesman is accusing both the West and al Qaeda of trying to create violence in Libya for one reason:

"Here it is again, the magic word - I'm sure as journalists you've heard it many times before and you've seen it in action before: Oil," said Information Ministry spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.

He predicted the West would bomb Libyan cities and that hundreds of thousands would die. "The risk to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people is real, and imminent," Ibrahim said.

The government says the Libyan people are on their side, and has called on them to unite to stop their opposition to the government.

It also handed out money Sunday: $400 per family, to ensure their loyalty.

As one man described it to Cobiella as "Baqshish" - Arabic for bribe.

With the revolution on Tripoli's doorstep, government troops have blocked the main road to the city. The regime still controls the capital.

But anti-Qaddafi protesters are now in control of much of the eastern part of Libya, and are attempting to form their own provisional government.

U.S. pushes EU allies on tougher Libya sanctions
Benghazi mobilizing for jihad against Qaddafi
Libyan rebels control city closest to capital

Traveling between Benghazi in the eastern part of Libya (where the revolution began) and Tripoli, CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark reports that people in the rebel-held city of Benghazi are stepping up to take jobs that the Qaddafi government used to do, like directing traffic and sweeping streets.

Protest organizer Wajdial Gueir took Clark to a place where the planning gets done: A tent where young men sign up for jobs and there's a bag for cash donations. Satellite channels provide the latest news.

Gueir sees elections happening in the future. "The people, they didn't come to the streets for money, for financial gains. They want freedom. They want elections. They want a fair system. They want a country with a constitution," said Gueir.

There is a group trying to put together a provisional government on a national level. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Libya's former justice minister who quit the regime in protest, is in charge. He promises elections in six months, but first Qaddafi has to go.

"If things go wrong for Qaddafi, he will kill. He's suicidal. He is a deranged person," Jalil said.

Aid workers are warning that eastern Libya could suffer food shortages in the next three weeks because Qaddafi has cut off supplies to the region.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Geneva, calling for tough sanctions and offering aid to Libyans trying to oust Qaddafi.