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TD892
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« on: February 25, 2011, 01:24:42 pm »

Colonel Gaddafi: ''We will fight those who are against us''
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Mid-East Unrest

   

Anti-government protesters in Tripoli have come under heavy gunfire, latest reports from the Libyan capital say.

Protests in the city resumed as those seeking the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi emerged from mosques following Friday prayers.

There are reports of deaths and injuries, but no reliable information about casualties.

Meanwhile, state TV has shown pictures of Colonel Gaddafi addressing a large crowd in Tripoli's Green Square.

He was shown speaking from the old city ramparts and urging the crowd to arm themselves and defend the nation and its oil against anti-government protesters who have taken control of large parts of the country.
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“Start Quote

    Life without dignity has no value, life without green flags has no value”

End Quote Col Muammar Gaddafi Libyan leader

"This is the people that brought Italy to its knees," he said, referring to the overthrow of Libya's colonial rulers. "I am amid the masses, and we shall fight, and we shall defeat them.

"We shall destroy any aggression with popular will. With the armed people, when necessary we will open the weapons depots. So that all the Libyan people, all the Libyan tribes can be armed. Libya will become a red flame, a burning coal."

As his supporters waved green flags, the symbol of Col Gaddafi's rule, he said: "Life without dignity has no value, life without green flags has no value. Sing, dance and prepare yourselves."

Later, at a hastily organised news conference at the United Nations in New York, Libyan deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi described Col Gaddafi, who has been in power for 42 years, as a "madman" and warned that thousands would die in Tripoli because the Libyan leader would never flee, and would fight to the end.

He urged all Libyan diplomats across the world to renounce the regime and make it clear that they represented the people, not Col Gaddafi, and called on African states not to send soldiers or aid to his government.

Earlier, state TV said the government would give each family 500 dinars (£250; $400) to cover increased food costs, while some public sector workers would receive a pay rise of 150%.

However, much of Libya is now in the hands of anti-government forces, and the UN World Food Programme says Libya's food supply chain is at risk of collapse because imports have not been getting into the country and food distribution is hampered by violence.

Fighting has raged for the past week outside the capital between anti-government forces and pro-Gaddafi troops and militiamen. The UN has said reports from Libya indicate thousands may have been killed or injured.
'City is closed'

In the capital on Friday, witnesses reported that protesters streamed out of a mosque in central Tripoli after the end of prayers at lunchtime.

They were confronted by a force of troops and militiamen who opened fire on them in the Suq al-Jumaa area as they headed towards Green Square. Snipers on rooftops are also said to have fired on the marchers.



Reports of anti-government protesters being fired on have also come from other areas of the capital including Fashloom, Janzour and Zawlyat al-Dahmani.

"Many people are being killed right now in Tripoli, I just got a few phone calls from friends who witnessed people going out of mosques being shot at," one Tripoli resident told the BBC.

"I am very scared to leave the house. I was planning to visit my parents, but they called me and told me not to go out because there's heavy security on the main roads, stopping cars for checks.

"We haven't left the house for six days, apart from going out to buy bread. The city is completely closed."

Outside Tripoli, reports say attempts by pro-Gaddafi forces to take back territory in the cities of Zawiya and Misrata have been repulsed.

However, an elite brigade commanded by Col Gaddafi's son Khamis is believed to be dug in around the capital.
'Appalling and unacceptable'

Evacuations of foreign nationals from Libya by sea continued on Friday, although rough weather hampered the operations.
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