• Protesters appear to have taken control of second city Benghazi
  • Up to 400 feared dead after dozens killed in clashes
  • Colonel Gaddafi on his way to Venezuela, say William Hague
  • Justice minister resigns over 'excessive use of violence'
  • Two Libyan fighter jets land in Malta as pilots request asylum
  • David Cameron declares regime response is 'appalling and unacceptable'
  • Gaddafi's son says: 'We will fight to the last minute, until the last bullet'
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has fled Libya and may be heading for Venezuela, William Hague said today.

The Foreign Secretary said he had seen 'information that suggests he is on the way there [Venezuela] at the moment' - as the North African country was up in flames with reports of around 400 dead.

Gaddafi was said to have fled as the country he has ruled for more than 40 years after anti-government demonstrators breached the state television building and set government property alight.

Popular fury: Government buildings have been set ablaze by anti-regime protesters in Tripoli

Taking power: Benghazi residents stand on a tank inside a security forces compound
Victory: A young Libyan girl celebrates after protesters took control of Benghazi
As the dust settles: Libyan protesters celebrated in the streets of Benghazi on Monday, claiming control of the country's second largest city after bloody fighting
Mr Hague spoke after a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday which sharply condemned Libyan authorities for their crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.

'I have seen some information that suggests he is on his way there at the moment,' he said.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton dismissed Hague's claim, saying she knew nothing about it and other officials described the report as 'rumours'.

Protesters appear to have gained a foothold in Tripoli today as banks and government buildings were looted while demonstrators have claimed they have taken control of the second city Benghazi.

It is thought up to 400 people may have died in the unrest with dozens more reported killed in Tripoli as protests reached the capital for the first time and army units were said to have defected to the opposition.

The Libyan justice minister has now resigned in protest at the 'excessive use of violence' against the protesters, according to the Quryna newspaper, while two feeing Libyan fighter jet pilots landed their aircraft in Malta today.

The pilots asked for political asylum from the air before landing their Mirage jets at Malta International Airport shortly after two civilian helicopters landed carrying seven French citizens.

A source said the fighter pilots had left from a base near Tripoli and had flown low over Libyan airspace to avoid detection.

A coalition of Libyan Islamic leaders has issued a fatwa telling all Muslims it is their duty to rebel against the Libyan leadership and demanding the release of all jailed protesters.