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

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs