Intense battles near Gaddafi compound

2011-08-25 19:15

Tripoli - Intense battles raged on Thursday between about 1 000 rebels surrounding 10 buildings filled with Muammar Gaddafi loyalists in the neighbourhood next to the Libyan leader's captured compound.

Gaddafi, in a new audio message, called on Libyans to destroy the rebels.

A regime spokesperson told The Associated Press Gaddafi is safely in hiding and leading the battle against the rebels.

AP reporters on the scene of the battle in the Abu Salim neighbourhood said rebels were hammering at least 10 buildings sheltering Gaddafi loyalists with anti-aircraft guns. There were huge explosions, and the air was clogged with smoke. At least three of the buildings were burning.

"They are holding at least 10 tall buildings. They have heavy weaponry, maybe even a tank," Mohammed Karami, a rebel involved in the battle, said of the Gaddafi loyalists.

Mahmoud Bakoush, a rebel commander at the site, said there were rumours that one of Gaddafi's sons might be in the buildings, but they are unconfirmed.

"Don't leave Tripoli for the rats. Fight them, fight them, and kill them," Gaddafi said in audio message broadcast on Al-Arabiya television.

 "It is the time for martyrdom or victory," he said, calling tribes outside the capital "to continue their march to Tripoli." He said imams in mosques should call for youths to rise up "for jihad".

Rebels will rape

He warned that the rebels will enter people's homes and rape their women.

"They will enter your houses and deprive you of your honour," he said. "Nato can't remain in the air all the time."

Gaddafi spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim, in a call to AP's Cairo office, said the long-time dictator was in Libya and his morale was high. Gaddafi "is indeed leading the battle for our freedom and independence" said Ibrahim, who was recognisable by his voice.

Ibrahim refused to say where Gaddafi was hiding. Ibrahim, who had for months appeared daily in televised news conferences since the start of the rebellion six months ago, added he himself was in an undisclosed location in Libya and constantly on the move.

"All of the leader's family are fine," Ibrahim said, adding that top military and political aides remained with Gaddafi.

He said Gaddafi was capable of continuing resistance for "weeks, months and years".

Ibrahim claimed Gaddafi's forces controlled a "good portion" of the capital - a claim that contradicts what reporters are seeing on the ground - and other cities and towns.

He also accused Nato of besieging Gaddafi strongholds such as Sirte.

  • PMG - 2011-08-25 18:46

    Dont worry Gaddafi - Juju and Floyd are on their way to Libya to come and defend your honour,they are just popping past McDonalds first for a BigMac.

      frankm - 2011-08-25 19:01

      and then they stopping over in Botswana to sort that country out, but they should be in Libya by the weekend

      A.N. Other - 2011-08-25 19:14

      would that not be wonderful news for all of us.......PMG and Frankm

  • Phaedioux - 2011-08-25 19:11

    I wonder how long it is going to take for Chavez's loyal army to come to Gaddafi's assistance? Why are the Arab League happy to see Gaddafi's demise?

  • mcirha - 2011-08-25 19:24

    PMG what are saying about the topic at hand? don't deviate from the invasion of libya by some selfish people who are about to bring untold misery to libyans. what has mumaar ghaddafi done for these western coalition of demons to want to eliminate him. they say they are doing this for libyans..really? sending their children to die in libya so that the libyans can have freedom, libyans are living a better life style than most europeans and americans.PMG and your ilk me thinks the ANCYL can respond to you if you challenge what they are saying with your own facts unless your facts are that the west can never do wrong, that would explain feeble personal attacks on individuals..

      JC - 2011-08-25 19:47

      Without help, the Lybian people would not have been able to get rid of this despot. What part of this do you not understand?

      PMG - 2011-08-25 19:57

      @meirah - Gaddafi is a dictator,and as the world has proven they are so last season.In case you havent noticed the rebels are Libyans too,and they arent too happy having your hero as their leader.Instead of the ANCYL trying to assist their fellow Africans in Somalia who are dying of starvation the fools are trying to implement regime change in Botswana and the only reason our government has finally had the balls to act against those Harvard gruaduates Juju and Floyd is because the Botswana defence force will kick our useless army's ass so bad they would't know if they were striking or actually on duty for a change.

      PinkAndProud - 2011-08-25 20:14

      Are you stupid or what?

      slg - 2011-08-25 20:44

      Western coalition demons? Are you not aware that the Arab League is behind Nato's actions. Are you not aware that Turkey, a nation of 73 million mUslims, is a member of Nato. Are you not aware that Gadhafi has not allowed Libyans the basic human right to vote for 42 years. Are you not aware that Libyans themselves took to the streets to demand change, and Gadhafi responded by killing, maiming, detainig and causing to be raped of thousands of civilians. Are you not aware that Tunisians and Egyptians have just liberated themselves from similar dictatorships.

  • michael.e.bowery - 2011-08-25 19:45

    Who cares, this camel milk drinking dictator is about done. Be warned the rest of Africa, where eventually the voting majority see the wood for the trees and rise up. Then of course in the African tradition, we have another dictator. It's Africa!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hungwe - 2011-08-25 19:45

    Juju and Floyd are on their way to rescue you - just hang in Gaddafi, because they have to learn to walk upright and the invention of the wheelbarrow is helping them.

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