Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Libya: Gaddafi asks supporters to crush rebellion

A defiant Muammar Gaddafi on Tuesday refused to bow down to a massive uprising and vowed to "die a martyr" while exhorting his supporters to crush the anti-regime protests and take back the streets of Libya.

As outrage grew over the bloody suppression of anti-government protests in his country, a fiery Gaddafi cursed the elements he claimed were trying to stir unrest in the Arab world, and raised the spectre of civil war by calling on his supporters to take to the streets.

"Damn those who try to stir unrest in Arab countries," said Gaddafi, as international voices grew in condemnation over the bloodshed in Libya.

Appearing on state television for the second time in 24 hours, the the 68-year-old leader called himself a bedouin warrior who had brought glory to Libya, and rejected all calls for stepping down.

"Muammar Gaddafi is the leader of the revolution, I am not a president to step down... This is my country. Muammar is not a president to leave his post, Muammar is leader of the revolution until the end of time.

"I am a bedouin warrior who brought glory to Libya and will die a martyr," he said.

Wearing brown robes and a turban, he asked his supporters to attack the protesters and take back the streets from them, as reports said some of the cities had fallen to the opposition.

"If you love Muammar Gaddafi, go out and secure Libya's streets... Capture the rats," he said of anti-regime demonstrators.

"Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs ... Starting tomorrow the cordons will be lifted, go out and fight them," he said.

The speech, which appeared to have been taped earlier, was aired on a screen to hundreds of supporters massed in Tripoli's central Green Square, Al Jazeera said.

"Go out of your homes and storm them" wherever they are, he said claiming that the Libyan people were with him.

Gaddafi's appearance was the second since reports said that he may have left the country for Venezuela.

He earlier made a fleeting appearance to lay to rest speculation of his departure, and called the foreign TV channels who were relaying such reports as "dogs".

He appeared again on TV this evening, making a furious speech to make it clear that he did not intend to step down.

"Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world... I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents ... I will die as a martyr at the end," he said pounding his fists.

The statement came as latest reports put the figure of dead in the continued violence in Libya at 300.

UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, warned that the widespread attacks against civilians "amount to crimes against humanity", and called for an international investigation in possible human rights violations.

Source http://www.sify.com/news/libya-gaddafi-asks-supporters-to-crush-rebellion-news-international-lcwx4cicgie.html

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