Maria Golovnina / Reuters & Col. Muammar Gaddafi (video) – 2011-09-14 01:01:28
Civilians Pour Out of Besieged pro-Gaddafi Town
Maria Golovnina / Reuters
NORTH GATE OF BANI WALID, Libya (September 13, 2011) — Hundreds of Libyans fled a desert town held by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Tuesday, complaining of hardship and intimidation, as fighters backed by the country’s new rulers warned of a full onslaught in the coming days.
Forces of the new ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) that overran Tripoli on August 23 have met unexpectedly stout resistance in five days of fighting for the town of Bani Walid 180 km (110 miles) southeast of the capital.
Along with Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte on the central Mediterranean coast and Sabha in the remote southern desert, Bani Walid counts among the last strongholds of old regime fighters and their resistance has impeded NTC efforts to normalize life in the oil-rich North African state.
Residents fleeing the town have reported days of intense firefights, and NATO warplanes were backing up NTC fighters with air strikes on pro-Gaddafi rocket positions.
Families trapped there for weeks started to slip out after Gaddafi forces abandoned some checkpoints on the outskirts, and scores of cars packed with civilians streamed out of the area on Monday and Tuesday.
NTC field commanders said people in Bani Walid, dominated by a tribe, the Warfalla, that was a pillar of Gaddafi’s rule, had been told via broadcast radio messages they had two days to leave town before it came under full-blown attack.
“I think only 10 percent of the people are Gaddafi supporters. They are fanatics. And the rest are waiting to be liberated. We have given them two more days to leave the city,” NTC fighter Abumuslim Abdu told Reuters.
But 25-year-old resident Abdulbaset Mohamed Mohamed painted a slightly different picture of Gaddafi support as he drove toward Tripoli dressed in a football kit and sporting freshly slicked-back hair.
“It’s too dangerous to go outside. Militia men are hiding around the city and (pro-Gaddafi) green flags are everywhere,” he said.
SIRTE SUPPLIES CUT, OIL FLOWS
The United Nations said it was worried about the plight of civilians marooned inside besieged pro-Gaddafi towns.
“Our big concern right now is Sirte, where we are receiving reports that there’s no water and no electricity,” U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told Reuters in Dubai.
Some NTC combatants said they suspected local fighters of the Warfalla tribe, Libya’s largest, were passing tips to Gaddafi forces in Bani Walid. “We believe there are traitors among them,” said Mohammed el Gahdi, from the coastal city of Khoms.
But efforts to get Libya running again were also gathering pace, especially in its life-blood oil sector.
The Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) said on Tuesday that production from the eastern oilfield of Sarir had reached 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) and that it had begun to send crude oil to the export terminal of Tobruk.
NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil also made his first public speech in Tripoli late on Monday — just hours after Gaddafi loyalists attacked the gate of an oil refinery.
Despite the assault, Abdel Jalil felt confident enough to address a crowd of about 10,000 people in the central Martyrs’ Square and use the speech to call for restraint.
“We seek a state of law, prosperity and one where sharia (Islamic law) is the main source for legislation, and this requires many things and conditions,” he said, adding that “extremist ideology” would not be tolerated.
Human rights group Amnesty International warned in a report on Tuesday that the security vacuum risked plunging Libya into a bloody vortex of attacks and reprisals.
“We need to open the courts to anyone who harmed the Libyan people in any way. The judicial system will decide,” Jalil said in Tripoli, urging NTC fighters to respect that principle.
Jalil has said that, along with taking control of pro-Gaddafi enclaves, capturing or killing the fugitive leader is a priority and only then could Libya be declared “liberated.”
NTC sources said on Tuesday that Abdel Hafid Zlitni, a former Central Bank governor and finance minister, was captured in Zawiyah, 50 km west of Tripoli.
They also said Mohammed Zwei, parliament speaker and former ambassador to Britain had been captured in the past week. Senior military officer Mustapha Kharroubi was also now in NTC custody, witnesses said.
Kharroubi is a veteran Gaddafi official and one of the few remaining officers who participated in Gaddafi’s 1969 coup. It is believed he handed himself over to NTC officials late last month but this could not immediately be confirmed.
Gaddafi’s entourage in Libya is dwindling. One of his sons, Saadi, arrived in neighbouring Niger on Sunday after crossing the southern Sahara desert frontier.
Two other sons and Gaddafi’s only biological daughter have made their way out to Algeria. One son is reported to have died in the war and three others are still on the run.
The NTC has said it will send a delegation to Niger to seek the return of anyone wanted for crimes under Gaddafi’s rule.
Additional reporting by William Maclean, Hisham el-Dani and Alexander Dziadosz in Tripoli, Sherine El Madany in Ras Lanuf, Emma Farge in Benghazi, Mark John and Bate Felix in Niamey, Barry Malone and Sylvia Westall in Tunis; Writing by Barry Malone; Editing by Mark Heinrich
Gaddafi Speech: Truth & Victory! â€¨â€¨
Muammar Gaddafi — Video and English Translationâ€¨â€¨
(September 8, 2011) — To our brave Libyan people that are resisting; the land of Libya is your property and your right from the days of your grandfathers and great grandfathers. Those that attempt to revoke it from you; are the insiders , foreign backed mercenaries and stray dogs, those foreigners that have resided in Libya for a long time that attempt to take the land of your grandfathers away from you.
This is impossible we will never leaver the land of our grandfathers, their families back then where spies for Italy, and nowadays are spies for France and Britain the same sons are following in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers; the steps of dishonor.â€¨â€¨
These rats and armed scum; are examples of their grandfathers. Each one of them is a clone and a mock-up of traitor-ship, they aren’t Libyan, ask about any of those that are backed by NATO; that destroys Libyan infrastructure and kills Libyan children; you’ll find that his grandfather and his dad where traitors. They carry the genes of traitors.â€¨â€¨
Do you think those who carry the genes of traitors from their grandparents and great grandparents are going to decide the fate of the Libyan people? These people when they realize that the Libyan people have turned up the ratchet and have refused to accept them they revert to the dirty tricks of the villainous Arab TV channels and the gulf donkeys.â€¨â€¨
They ask them to come up with any lie to save them, they tell them we feel the earth tremble under our feet; and we feel the masses advances towards us, and that we will lose the ground that we have gained, please save us with a lie or a rumor that will destroy the morale of the resistive Libyan people. That will destroy the morale of the sons of the Al-Fatah revolution.â€¨â€¨
They ask the villainous horns of lies to save them with a lie or two, a rumor or two here and there. At the beginning they said he’s gone to Venezuela; it turned out to be a lie now they’re fed up and they’ve said he’s gone to Niger. To destroy your morale and make your surrender; this is an indication that they know that your morale and spirits are high.
â€¨â€¨The people in Tripoli are getting ready to destroy the rats and capture the mercenaries which are like a pack of weasels with no agreeance amongst themselves. Their masters will abandon them soon, even their bomb supplies have been depleted nor do they have aircraft to fight with.â€¨â€¨
They think that NATO will stay forever in the skies; NATO will return defeated, weather it likes it or not, because it’s financial position doesn’t allow it to continue with its air bombardments. They feel that they are on the battlefield alone.â€¨â€¨
They bring the horns of lies to rescue them; by spreading rumors and lies such as Qaddafi has been injured, Qaddafi has fled, such and such has happened to Qaddafi. This means that they are facing a bottleneck and that their masters are going to desert them. That they will flip on one another.â€¨â€¨
The Libyan people in its “Million Man Marches” indicated its position to the world, these people are still alive; they have nothing to resort to now but psychological warfare to influence you, do not be influenced by these psychological advertisements or lies.
This should make you be able to mock the weak enemy that’s in front of you, a bunch of traitors and drunkards and a bunch of Islamists that have strayed from law and order; that have no objective but to destroy the country.â€¨â€¨They don’t even have a diplomatic or economic plan.
They want to destroy the country; you saw what that the armed rebels did when they entered Tripoli, they looted it. They looted homes and stole the gold that belonged to the women.â€¨â€¨Each individual ran back to his tribe with the stolen booty (loot) , laid down his weapons and claimed that he is victorious. The Libyan people shouldn’t be silenced by such individuals and his great past.
We shouldn’t leave our land to such menial cowards to steal the land of our grandfathers that are backed by the crusaders; that are now looking back at their failed colonialist plot and are repeating their calculations. They will be left on the battlefield alone, to resort to things that affect your morale the most.â€¨â€¨
The last thing from them was that we saw Qaddafi’s convey enter Niger; what nonsense this isn’t the first time conveys have been seen in the area, from Mali, Chad & Algeria entering and exiting the Sahara desert. It’s as if it’s the first convey ever to enter Niger, be careful and look here and stay determined against these lies and false propaganda. They should be rubbed to dust.
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