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Tuesday, 23 August, 2011, 3:13 ( 1:13 GMT )
Revolutionaries Try to Mop Up Remaining Districts Where Al Qathafi Loyalists Had Dug In
22/08/2011 11:18:00
A day after jubilant rebel forces surged into the symbolic heart of the capital, heavy fighting raged Monday near the Tripoli compound of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Al Qathafi, while fighting was also heard overnight in the south of the capital, with exchanges of heavy weaponry and automatic rifle fire.

Rebel leaders had earlier warned that pockets of resistance remained despite most of Al Qathafi's defenders vanishing during the rebels' lightning charge through Tripoli on Sunday.

The whereabouts of the Libyan leader, who now seems to have been deprived of any real leadership were unknown on Monday, while his second eldest son, and 'heir-apparent', Seif al-Islam slept under surveillance by his captors after his arrest, and eldest son Mohamed was under house arrest, cowering in his house, afraid to leave.

Al Qathafi himself, hold up somewhere for fear of being caught, had broadcast three defiant audio messages on Sunday, vowing he would not surrender and urging the people of Tripoli to "purge the capital, even as rebel forces swept through the capital and took over the symbolic Green Square at the waterfront. But he has not been seen in public for weeks. He was nowhere to be seen and called for his supposed supporters to fight on his behalf.

Meanwhile, in a written statement, US President Barack Obama said that Al Qathafi's 42-year autocratic regime was at a "tipping point" and that the "tyrant" must go. He called on the rebels to respect human rights, show leadership, preserve the institutions of the Libyan state and move towards democracy.

"Tonight, the momentum against the Al Qathafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant," Obama said as he took a vacation at the resort of Martha's Vineyard.

"The Al Qathafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator."

Earlier, as the battle to end four decades of dictatorship neared its end.Mahmud Jibril, who forms part of the National Transitional Council had also called on the insurgents to act responsibly. "The fight is not over yet," he said on rebel television Al-Ahrar. "God willing, in few hours our victory will be complete."

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told a press conference that 1,300 people had been killed in the rebel assault on the capital, describing the fighting as a "real tragedy." There's no way anybody could confirm the high number of casualties he quoted, nor any immediate indication of how much resistance may have been put up against the rebels.

Libyans laughed at Ibrahim's insisted that Libya's regime "is still strong and thousands of volunteers and soldiers are ready to fight". The reality on the ground seemed to belie his boasts.

In The Hague, the International Criminal Court confirmed that Muammar Al Qathafi's son, Seif al-Islam, for whom the ICC had issued arrest warrants for crimes against humanity, is in detention, with Luis Moreno-Ocampo saying he had received confidential information stating he had been arrested.

"We hope he can soon be in the Hague" to face justice, he said, adding that he planned to contact the "Libyan transitional government" later in the day.

Earlier, the chairman of Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Al-Jazeera TV from Benghazi, that Seif was "being kept in a secure place under close guard until he is handed over to the judiciary."

This article has ( 1 ) Comment(s)
Name: Rasheed Ahmed Chughtai, president of IUCDate: 22/08/2011 11:31:51

Colonel Qaddafi must recognize that his rule has come to an end, AND STOP MORE BLOODSHED OF INNOCENT PEOPLE.The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all.

God is Great. We congratulate the Libyan people on the fall of Muammar Qaddafi and we advise the Libyan people to go out on the streets and to safeguard public property.... Long live a Free Libya

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