One eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, compared the town to "a city of ghosts" because of the violence and bloodshed.
He told Sky News: "Here, it is chaos. Buildings completely crumbled, mosques brought down to ashes, blood flowing through the streets.
"No human should go through this... what kind of human would do this to another human?"
He added: "This is a completely full attack. Approximately 50 tanks have been bombarding the city, crushing everything in sight.
"It started at 10am today and still hasn't finished. There are now a couple of aircraft hovering."
He said Gaddafi's forces were targeting the town's main square where protesters have gathered.
"There are a lot of people there who want freedom, but it seems the price they have to pay is with their own blood," he said. (read more)