Libyan students at Cardiff University today spoke of their fears as state repression in the country turns increasingly violent.
Randa Abdelnabi, 30, is studying for a masters in Magnetics at Cardiff University. On Friday her cousin, 35-year-old Achor Hamd, was attacked by a mob near the city of Benghazi and repeatedly kicked and beaten. Mr Hamd, a recently married schoolteacher, died of his injuries soon after.
Lines of communication into the country appear to have been cut today. Ms Abdelnabi was yesterday able to contact her family in Tubruq, on Libya's Meditteranean coast, but has been unable to do so today.
"I have been trying to call my family since 6am," she said.
Omar Salamat, 20, a third year dentistry student, said: "My brother, parents and grandparents are there. I have spoken to my family members briefly yesterday but phone lines and the internet have been cut off."
As the protests grow in strength, the Libyan authorities have taken increasingly aggressive steps to prevent them. Yesterday two Libyan pilots defected to Malta rather than carry out orders to bomb protestors in the capital, Tripoli.
Asked about the reprisals by the government, Mr Salamat said: "It is a disgraceful genocide against Libyans. They are trying to kill every protestor who takes to the streets."
It is clear the majority of Libyan's want an end to the Gaddafi regime, but outlook is mixed over whether he will go. Ms Abdelnabi said: "We are just 5.5 million people with no weapons. This is what he [Gaddafi] has done for the last 42 years. Now he has hired special troops to kill protestors."
Mr Salamat believes that although Col Gaddafi will attempt to cling on to power, the days of his regime are numbered.
"I think his time is coming to an end," he said.
For several days protestors have surrounded the Libyan embassy in London, waving flags that pre-date Col Gaddafi's regime. Mr Salamat hopes to travel to join the protesters there today.