News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Seize Gadhafi Compound

Smoke rises above downtown Tripoli following fighting at Bab Al-Aziziya compound August 23, 2011
Smoke rises above downtown Tripoli following fighting at Bab Al-Aziziya compound August 23, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Rebel fighters have seized Moammar Gadhafi's compound in the capital, Tripoli, and are celebrating what they consider a major victory over the Libyan leader and his loyalist troops.

The rebel fighters fought their way into Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound Tuesday despite heavy gunfire from pro-Gadhafi forces.  Hundreds of rebels could be seen firing their weapons in the air in celebration. Others waved flags and tore down posters of Gadhafi.

Black smoke filled the skyline while gunfire and explosions continued around the compound and several other parts of the city.

As rebels celebrate the fall of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans from outside the capital are heading towards Tripoli. Mohammed al-Abdallah, an official with the opposition movement National Front of the Salvation of Libya, told VOA from the city of Misrata that he wanted to work to get Tripoli back to normal.

Listen to JulieAnn McKellogg's interview with Mohammed al-Abdallah

Awad al-Faituri, a businessman who just returned to Libya three days ago after spending 30 years working abroad, said celebrations also had erupted in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Listen to JulieAnn McKellogg's interview with Awad al-Faituri

As revelers take to the streets of Tripoli celebrating the overtaking of Moammar Gadhafi's compound in the capitol, some Libyans are celebrating from home until the violence subsides.  Talis Aghil, a 23-year-old Libyan activist, spoke to VOA on Skype from her home in Tripoli.  She has not left her home out of fear, but believes within a day she will be on the streets celebrating with her fellow Libyans.

Listen to JulieAnn McKellogg's interview with Talis Aghil

members of his inner circle were in the compound at the time, or the city of Tripoli.  U.S. officials in Washington said Tuesday they believe Gadhafi was still in Libya.

In New York, Libya's Deputy U.N. Ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, told reporters he expects Tripoli to be completely liberated within the next 72 hours.

EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton said Tuesday the rebels' political leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, told her they have control of 80 percent of the Libyan capital.  

Meanwhile, Libyan rebels say they also have taken control of the eastern oil port of Ras Lanuf Tuesday.  The major oil port is east on the road to Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.

A resident of Benghazi told VOA that residents of the rebel-stronghold were honking their horns and waving flags out of their cars in celebration.  He said he expected many more people to celebrate after Muslims broke their daily Ramadan fast in the evening.

A NATO spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, told reporters in Brussels that NATO's mission in Libya is not over, and that it will continue military operations until all attacks and threats of attacks against civilians have stopped.

NATO military spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie added that NATO forces are not specifically targeting Gadhafi, but that the alliance will strike "wherever is necessary" in Libya to protect civilians.

Gadhafi's whereabouts are unknown. But his son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, defiantly appeared in the city late Monday saying his father was still in Tripoli and that his government was still in control.

The rebels earlier claimed to have arrested Seif al-Islam, but he spoke to foreign journalists at the Gadhafi-controlled Rixos Hotel, then led a convoy of vehicles through loyalist areas, where television footage showed him pumping his fists in the air as supporters cheered him on.

The International Criminal Court on Tuesday disputed reports that it had earlier confirmed Seif al-Islam's detention, saying the court never received official word from the opposition Transitional National Council.

Senior rebel sources also said another of Gadhafi's sons - Mohammed - escaped house arrest Monday.  A third son apparently is still in detention.

Opposition council chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said Gadhafi will receive a fair trial if captured, and that the "real moment of victory" will be when he is taken into custody.

Jalil acknowledged that the rebels have yet to establish full control in Tripoli, where forces loyal to Gadhafi have battled rebels in scattered pockets.  

The International Organization for Migration said Tuesday the fighting in Tripoli has forced it to delay docking a ship to begin evacuating stranded migrants.  The group said the ship, which can carry 300 people, will remain off shore until the security situation improves.

In addition to parts of Tripoli, pro-government forces also control at least two major cities affiliated with his tribe - Sabha, to the south, and Sirte, some 450 kilometers east of the capital along the coast.  NATO says government forces fired three Scud missiles toward the city of Misrata, but no injuries were reported.

The rebels broke through Tripoli's outer defenses Sunday and reached the city's central Green Square, where thousands celebrated the opposition's arrival and tore down posters of Gadhafi. Until recently, the government had used the area for mass demonstrations in support of Gadhafi.

The rebel troops moved into central Tripoli with little resistance after capturing a key military base run by the government's elite Khamis Brigade and commanded by another of Gadhafi's sons.

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

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid