News / Africa

Libyan Leader Defiant Despite Intense NATO Airstrikes

In this image from a TV broadcast by Libyan television, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi sits next to a TV monitor showing a strapline at the bottom in English, reading 'The Leader's speech to the Libyan people 07 06 2011
In this image from a TV broadcast by Libyan television, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi sits next to a TV monitor showing a strapline at the bottom in English, reading 'The Leader's speech to the Libyan people 07 06 2011

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has vowed to fight to the end, as NATO warplanes pounded Tripoli with some of the most intense airstrikes since the coalition began its campaign in March.

In an audio speech broadcast Tuesday on state television, Gadhafi said the Libyan people will not surrender and will stay in their country until the end.

State television later broadcast images of what it said was a meeting between Gadhafi and tribal elders.  The Libyan leader was previously seen on state television late last month.

NATO airstrikes Tuesday caused repeated blasts that rocked Tripoli.  Witnesses say some of the attacks targeted Gadhafi's sprawling compound, which was heavily damaged.  Plumes of smoke billowed above the facility.

A Libyan government spokesman says 31 people were killed in 60 airstrikes on the Libyan capital. His account could not be independently confirmed.

In Brussels, where NATO is based, lawyers for Gadhafi's daughter filed a war crimes complaint against the alliance.  In the complaint, Aisha al-Gadhafi accuses NATO of bombing a civilian target in late April in Tripoli.

Libyan officials said the attack killed one of Mr. Gadhafi's sons and three of his grandchildren.  The deaths have not been independently confirmed.

A Libyan spokesman said Gadhafi and his wife were there at the time, but were not hurt.

NATO defense ministers are due to meet Wednesday in Brussels to assess the Libya campaign.  NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he would use the meeting to repeat calls for the alliance to step up involvement in the Libya operation.

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

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