View Full Version : Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appears on state TV (Tripoli, not Venezuela)

02-22-2011, 11:36 AM
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appears on state TV

Libya's leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi, has dismissed reports that he had fled amid the unrest sweeping the country, calling foreign news channels "dogs".

Speaking to state TV from outside a ruined building, he said: "I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela," after rumours that he had flown to Caracas.

Col Gaddafi's statement came after security forces and protesters clashed in the capital for a second night.

The UN Security Council is to meet in closed session to discuss Libya.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the announcement, after speaking to Col Gaddafi on Monday.

"I urged him that the human rights and freedom of assembly and freedom of speech must be fully protected," said Mr Ban.

I want to clarify for them that I am in Tripoli not in Venezuela. Do not believe these channels - they are dogs”

End Quote Muammar Gaddafi Libyan leader

The Arab League will also hold an emergency session.

Eyewitness reports that military aircraft had fired on protesters in Tripoli have been backed up by Libyan diplomats who have turned against the leadership.

But Col Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam said the aircraft had been used only to bomb army bases which had defected to the opposition.

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in western Egypt, says the regime now seems to be fighting on multiple fronts, trying to put down the protests and fighting a bitter battle against a growing number of army units that have risen up against the Libyan leader.

Libya's diplomats at the United Nations in New York called for international intervention to stop the government's violent action against street demonstrations in their homeland.

Here in Tripoli Col Gaddafi's forces are in control. This morning has been really quiet in the streets, there is very rare movement.

We've heard some reports that anyone who goes out in the street is stopped and asked for their destination and if there's no clear destination people might get arrested.

People in Benghazi confirm to me that the people are in control of the city, they have control over the radio.

They have set up committees to organise public life there but they also confirm that the army has control over the airport and the suburbs.

Deputy Permanent Representative Ibrahim Dabbashi said Libyans had to be protected from "genocide", and urged the UN to impose a no-fly zone.

Ali Aujali, Libya's most senior diplomat in the US, also criticised the country's leader. He told the BBC he was "not supporting the government killing its people".

The embassy in Malaysia condemned the government's actions after being briefly occupied by protesters who smashed a portrait of Col Gaddafi.

The ambassador to India said he had quit because of "unacceptable" violence against civilians.

Ali al-Essawi said he had heard from sources inside the country that the leadership had been using African mercenaries to combat the protests, and this had prompted Libyan troops to join the opposition, Reuters news agency reported.

BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12533069)