News / Africa

Gadhafi Urges Supporters to Resist Libya's Enemy 'Rats'

A Libyan rebel stands by a shop window decorated with a portrait of Moammar Gadhafi with his son Seif al-Islam on his shoulders, in Tripoli, Aug. 25, 2011
A Libyan rebel stands by a shop window decorated with a portrait of Moammar Gadhafi with his son Seif al-Islam on his shoulders, in Tripoli, Aug. 25, 2011

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has urged his supporters to rise up and defeat the rebels trying to oust him from power.

In a short audio broadcast on Thursday, he described his opponents as "rats" and also denounced foreign countries for their involvement in the conflict.

Colonel Moammar Gadhafi deposed King Idris in a military coup in 1969.  Having ruled Libya for 42 years. he is the Arab World's longest-serving ruler. He surrounds himself with female bodyguards and has a reputation for being eccentric.

His speech came as fierce gunbattles between Gadhafi loyalists and rebels erupted in at least two areas of the capital, Tripoli.

Heavy fighting broke in the Abu Salim neighborhood, a pro-Gadhafi stronghold. Earlier Thursday, witnesses reported hearing a barrage of gunfire outside of the Corinthia hotel, where many foreign journalists are staying.

Opposition fighters have been pouring into Tripoli to help combat the remnants of pro-Gadhafi resistance. They are also advancing toward Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.

Pro-Gadhafi forces have been massing for a showdown in Sirte, which is about 400 kilometers east of Tripoli.

Gadhafi's whereabouts are unknown, but U.S. officials believe he is still in Libya. Also, the Associated Press has quoted a Gadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim as saying Thursday that the Libyan leader is "safe," "healthy" and leading the fight against rebels.

Britain says NATO is helping rebels in their hunt for Gadhafi and members of his regime.  British Defense Minister Liam Fox told Britain's Sky News on Thursday that NATO is providing the rebels with intelligence and reconnaissance equipment to aid in their search.  However, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu says the alliance does not target individuals.

In rebel-held Benghazi, the Transitional National Council's (TNC) Mustafa Abdel Jalil urged Libyans in parts of the country that were still under the the control of Gadhafi forces to join the "revolution."

Also Thursday, foreign correspondents in Tripoli viewed the bodies of at least 15 men who appeared to have been executed. It was not clear who killed them.

In a separate development, a TNC leader called Thursday for "urgent" financial help.  Mahmoud Jibril said the money is needed to pay the salaries of Libyans and deliver basic services to civilians.

He made the plea during a news conference in Milan with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who said his country was ready to unfreeze up to $505 million in Libyan assets.

The TNC has begun moving some of its ministries from rebel-held Benghazi to Tripoli.  The group's leaders say that elections will be held in eight months.

On Wednesday, the TNC said it supports a decision by Libyan businessmen to provide a $1.67 million reward in an attempt to speed up Gadhafi's capture.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration says it has begun evacuating foreigners who want to leave Tripoli. The international relief group said Thursday that about 200 people had begun boarding a ship docked near the capital.  Concerns about the security situation in the city had kept the vessel off shore for days.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid