On February 17, 2011, a series of protests escalated into armed uprising in Libya, as citizens demanded an end to Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi's 42 year-long rule and the installation of democracy. Eastern Libya, centred on the city of Benghazi, was "liberated", and became the base for the opposition forces, whilst the inhabitants of Misrata, further west, fought a bloody battle for their city.