Inside the city, residents set up make-shift barricades with furniture, benches, road signs and even a barbecue in one case at intervals along main streets. Each barricade was manned by half a dozen rebels, but only about half of those were armed.
"The international community is late in intervening to save civilians from Gaddafi's forces," Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the Benghazi-based rebel National Libyan Council, told Al Jazeera television, adding: "We appeal to the international community, to the all the free world, to stop this tyranny from exterminating civilians."
Saturday's bombardment began early in the morning. Thuds resounded and warplanes roared over the city. A Reuters correspondent saw one plane shot out of the sky.