Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

'Ice Bucket Challenge' angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

#TECH 24

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Read more

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Africa

Gaddafi vows to fight to the death in surprise TV speech

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-08

Muammar Gaddafi gave a surprise speech on Tuesday, just an hour after NATO jets completed their heaviest bombardment yet of the Libyan capital. The steadfast leader said he would fight to the death against those seeking to oust him.

AFP - A wave of NATO air strikes battered Tripoli early Wednesday, piling pressure on embattled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi who said he was "near" the bombing but vowed never to surrender.
              
Loud blasts were heard near Kadhafi's residential complex Bab al-Aziziya at around 1:45 am (2345 GMT Tuesday), an AFP correspondent said. A little later the city was shaken by more powerful explosions.
              
On Tuesday, in one of the heaviest bombardments of the air war so far NATO-led warplanes carried out some 60 strikes on Tripoli, killing 31 people, Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said.
              
The main target was Kadhafi's compound which has been blasted regularly since the start of the international military intervention on March 19, and most of the buildings in the Bab al-Aziziya complex have been flattened.
              
In an audio message broadcast late Tuesday, Kadhafi said that he was close to the bombing but was still resisting and called on his people to resist too.
              
"Despite the bombings, we will never submit," Kadhafi said in the nine-minute broadcast. "I am near the bombing but I am still resisting.
              
"We have only one choice -- (to stay in) our country to the end. Death, life, victory, no matter what. We will not leave our country or sell it, we will not submit," he said in his first intervention since he appeared on state television on May 19.
              
Shortly after the recording was broadcast, more air strikes hit the Libyan capital, continuing a bombardment that had gone on throughout the day.
              
Journalists taken on an escorted tour of the bomb-damaged compound were shown a dead body, draped in a green Libyan flag, which government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said was one of a number of casualties from the air strikes.
              
An information ministry minder said that six bombs had struck the compound itself and eight the barracks just opposite.
              
The British defence ministry said targets included a secret police headquarters in the heart of Tripoli and a major military installation on the outskirts.
              
In Brussels, where NATO defence ministers were to meet on Wednesday to discuss the progress of the Libya campaign, Kadhafi's daughter Aisha filed a war crimes complaint against the Western alliance, claiming it knowingly bombed a civilian target, killing her daughter and other family members.
              
The complaint, a copy of which was seen by AFP, relates to an April 30 NATO raid on Tripoli, which Libyan officials said killed the strongman's youngest son and three grandchildren.
              
In Washington, US President Barack Obama said after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the pressure on Kadhafi "will only continue to increase" until the Libyan leader steps down.
              
"The chancellor and I have been clear. Kadhafi must step down and hand power to the Libyan people, and the pressure will only continue to increase until he does," Obama told reporters at the White House, standing alongside the German leader.
              
"What you're seeing across the country is a inexorable trend of the regime forces being pushed back, being incapacitated.
              
"You're seeing defections, often times of some very high-profile members of the Kadhafi government, as well as the military.
              
"I think it is just a matter of time before Kadhafi goes."
              
Labour Minister Al-Amin Manfur became the latest member of Kadhafi's regime to defect, announcing at a meeting of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva that he was changing sides.
              
In Libya's second city Benghazi, President Dmitry Medvedev's envoy Mikhail Margelov met rebel leaders in the first trip by a top Russian official to their eastern stronghold.
              
Margelov, Medvedev's African envoy, said Russia was prepared to provide financial support to the rebels but opposed any escalation of the conflict.
              
The rebels said they were ready to receive Russian aid "tomorrow," but stressed that they would not enter any negotiations until Kadhafi stepped down.
              
Margelov said Moscow was prepared to "facilitate dialogue between the two camps," but Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed Russia did not want to be the lead mediator.
              
"We have said several times that the African Union has the main role," Lavrov told reporters on a visit to NATO member Norway.
              

In Washington, a senior US official said the United States is prepared to welcome a Libyan woman who accused Kadhafi's soldiers of raping her as long as she goes through the normal refugee process.
              
The woman, Iman al-Obeidi, is currently at the emergency transit center in Timisoara, Romania, along with about 100 other evacuees from different locations, according to UN refugee officials.
              
Al-Obeidi, 29, attracted international media attention when she stormed into the Rixos hotel in Tripoli on March 26 and threw open her coat to reveal scars and bruises on her body.
              
She accused forces loyal to Kadhafi of abusing her after she was stopped at a checkpoint in Tripoli.

 

Date created : 2011-06-07

  • LIBYA

    NATO hits state broadcaster in Tripoli

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    NATO uses attack helicopters in Libya

    Read more

COMMENT(S)