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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More