News / Middle East

Libyan Opposition Fights Pro-Gadhafi Forces in Zawiya

An armed man stands on top of a captured tank in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, in Libya Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011.
An armed man stands on top of a captured tank in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, in Libya Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011.

Multimedia

International pressure is mounting on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to leave Libya, but he told an American television network that Libyans love him and he has no plans to step down.  Meantime, U.S. officials have come out with their strongest statement yet that Mr. Gadhafi must go, and anti-Gadhafi forces in Zawiya say they are repelling troops loyal to the Libyan leader.

Zawiya is 50 kilometers west of Tripoli.  Witnesses tell VOA that troops and tanks loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are lined up along the coastline, blocking the city's access to the sea.  

One man who says he is a protest leader  told VOA what happened Monday evening as pro-Gadhafi forces tried to enter the town. "Security militia that protects Gadhafi launched an attack from the west side of Zawiya.  What happened then, we managed to kill three armed militiamen and destroy their car.  The rest of them fled," he said.

Another  man said protesters in Zawiya have few weapons and he does not think Libyans alone can topple Mr. Gadhafi. "I think there has to be outside intervention.  Forces should close on him, arrest him and rid the Libyans from him.  Because as the situation goes on, we will witness daily massacres.," he said.

The Obama adminstration on Monday increased its condemnation of Mr. Gadhafi.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Gadhafi has lost the legitimacy to govern and it is time for him to go without futher violence or delay."

But Moammar Gadhafi told ABC News he plans to stay in Libya because his people love him. "They love me, all my people with me. They love me, all. They will die to protect me, my people. No, no," he said.

This is what Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has to say about that. "It sounds just frankly delusional. When he can laugh and talk to American and international journalists while he is slaughtering his people, it only underscores how unfit he is to lead, and how disconnected he is from reality," she said.

VOA has received this video posted on YouTube.  The time frame is not known, but it appears to show Mr. Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, promisings weapons to supporters.

"They are saying that the police have run away.  But today, we will prove the opposite that police are with Libya.  Do you need weapons?  You will receive all the support, all the facilities and weapons.  Everything will be okay and you will be victorious," he said.

But Saif al-Islam Gadhafi denied to ABC News that the government has been ruthless with the Libyan people. "Show me a single attack.  Show me a single bomb.  Show me the casualties," he said.

VOA spoke to one woman in Libya via Skype. She says the proof is in the local hospitals.  "A man who was hit with an RPG [rocket propelled grenade] in his chest.  I saw pictures of a man who was hit with a 14 and a half anti-aircraft weaponry. These are weapons that are supposed to be used on aircraft, not human beings," she said.

The woman asked that we not show her face. She says everyone is tense where she lives, even though forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi have switched sides to help residents. "They are volunteers that are setting up and the police and army have joined forces with the protesters.  The police officers are stationed throughout the city," she said.

The woman told VOA she does not know what will happen next in Libya. All she wants is to be free and for her child to be safe to play on a playground.

Mideast Unrest 2011 on Dipity.

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

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid