News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Prepare to Defend Benghazi

Demonstrators gather next to anti-Gaddafi graffiti in the main square of Tobruk after Gaddafi's forces seized a strategic town in eastern Libya, March 15, 2011
Demonstrators gather next to anti-Gaddafi graffiti in the main square of Tobruk after Gaddafi's forces seized a strategic town in eastern Libya, March 15, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are bombarding opposition-held areas in the west and east, as rebel forces regroup at the town of Ajdabiya on the road to their stronghold of Benghazi. Pro-Gadhafi forces have been bombarding the town and claimed to have seized it Tuesday after skirmishes with the mostly young and lightly-armed rebels.


Seif al Islam Gadhafi, son of the Libyan leader, declared that the battle will now move to the main rebel-held city of Benghazi, and that its fate will be decided in several days.

Libyan state TV told Benghazi residents that the army is coming to their defense, "to assure [their] security, to right injustices done to [them], to restore calm and to bring life back to normal."   

Opposition leaders in Benghazi say the city will be ready for an attack.

Gadhafi's message

In the Libyan capital Tripoli, pro-Gadhafi supporters chanted that the "people want Moammar the Colonel." Gadhafi addressed his supporters from a military base in Tripoli, claiming the rebels and foreign media are deforming reality in Libya.

Ghadhafi said he has faced a rebellion before, but that this time his opponents are using the media to give the world a false picture of what is happening. He claimed the media are announcing that there are demonstrations in Libya when there are none, and that his forces are firing on demonstrators, when they are not.

People in the opposition-held town of Misrata in western Libya say government tanks and artillery have been shelling the town, and there are casualties.

Criticism toward West

Meanwhile, Colonel Gadhafi also vowed to crush his opponents militarily, thumping his fists on the table. He blasted Western nations as well, warning that he would teach them the true meaning of freedom.

He said Western leaders are telling him to give up power, but that they are criminals and that they should resign. He said they should give freedom to their own peoples the way he has done in Libya.

Opposition leaders and pro-Gadhafi officials gave conflicting reports through the day of what was taking place. Former interior minister but now rebel leader Abdel Fattah Younes told Al Arabiya TV that his forces have "killed dozens of Gadhafi soldiers, taken dozens of others prisoner and watched as others fled."

On the other side, Seif al Islam Gadhafi told Euronews that it is the rebels who were "fleeing to the Egyptian border," but he said his forces would allow them to do so, and would not take revenge.

Diplomatic moves to deal with the Libyan situation remained stalled. A draft resolution calling for a no-fly zone along with new sanctions against the Gadhafi government continued to meet opposition in the U.N. Security Council from China and Russia.

 

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

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid