Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi in his car
Photo: Sky News
Riots in Lybia
Photo: A7 Fadhomar
Rally in US against Gaddafi
Photo: AP

Gaddafi: I am in Tripoli, not Venezuela

State TV shows Libyan president entering car, denying rumors he fled country. 'Don't believe misleading dog stations,' he says as protests spread to military, diplomats

"I am here to show that I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Don't believe those misleading dog stations" – said Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi on state TV early Tuesday referring to the media reports that he had left the country. The video clip and comments lasted less than a minute showing the Arab leader, in his first televised appearance since protests to topple him started last week, holding an umbrella in the rain and leaning out of a van of what appeared to be his residence.


Prior to Gaddafi's statement Libyan state TV promised the leader will refute "malicious rumors that have been broadcast against him", but in the video clip Gaddafi only referred to rumors saying he fled the country to Venezuela.


His statement was released within a day of bloodshed in his country. The Arab media reported that over 250 people were killed on Monday night in a violent clash between protesters and the Libyan army. According to reports, air force warplanes and helicopters bombed and fired at residential areas where citizens gathered to demonstrate.


Referring to the attacks United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters that "This is unacceptable. This must stop immediately. This is a serious violation of international humanitarian law." He called to immediately stop the violence against demonstrators.

Protests in Lybia (Photo: AP)


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called on Gaddafi to "stop this unacceptable bloodshed" and said the world was watching the events "with alarm."


The civil protest in Libya continues to spread to the military. Two Mirage warplanes pilots from the Libyan air force landed in a Malta, asking for political asylum on Monday night.


'Rid Libya of him'

Meanwhile, several military units and Gaddafi's own diplomats have spoken out against him, including Libya's ambassador in Washington, Ali Adjali. Deputy UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi accused the longest-serving Arab leader of committing genocide against his own people in the current crisis.


Diplomats at Libya's mission to the United Nations sided on Monday with the revolt against their country's leader and called on the Libyan army to help overthrow "the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi."


In a statement issued as protests erupted across Libya, the mission's deputy chief and other staff said they were serving the Libyan people, demanded "the removal of the regime immediately" and urged other Libyan embassies to follow suit.


Earlier on Monday, Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa on that any Libyan soldier who can shoot and kill embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi should do so “to rid Libya of him”.


“Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr Gaddafi should do so,” Al-Qaradawi told Al-Jazeera television.



פרסום ראשון: 02.22.11, 09:31
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