Libyan rebels control Tripoli

Libyan rebels control Tripoli

Nearly 48 hours after a pincer thrust on Tripoli by the irregular rebel armies, launched in tandem with an uprising in the city, Gadhafi’s tanks and sharpshooters appeared to hold only small areas, including his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters.

Civilians, who mobbed the streets late on Sunday to cheer the end of dictatorship, stayed indoors as gunfire crackled. Gadhafi’s prime minister showed up in Tunisia. State television went off the air and rebels said they had seized its transmitters.
More Libyan embassies abroad hoisted the rebel flag.

Western powers who deployed air power in support of various rebel groups in different regions, urged the “Brother Leader” to accept his 42 years of absolute power were over, and to end the bloodshed after six months of civil war that has ebbed and flowed erratically across the sparsely populated desert nation.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who took an early gamble on the Libyan rebels, called on Gadhafi loyalists “to turn their back on the criminal and cynical blindness of their leader by immediately ceasing fire, giving up their arms and turning themselves in to the legitimate Libyan authorities.”

President Barack Obama said: “Gadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end.”

With international competition already heating up for Libyan oil, Russia and China, critics of the West’s assault on Gadhafi, also indicated he should bow to the now inevitable. But after a defiant audio address on Sunday, urging citizens to take up arms against rebel “rats”, no more was heard from a man who is one of the world’s longest ruling leaders and who vowed do die fighting rather than surrender. Various officials said they did not know where he was.

Libya’s opposition leader said rebels captured three of Gadhafi’s sons. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the National Transitional Council, told the Associated Press on Monday that rebels detained al-Saadi Gadhafi on Sunday night along with his brother Seif al-Islam.
Gadhafi’s sons and a daughter have all played roles in their father’s regime, some in diplomatic or business roles. Al-Saadi and his brothers Mutassim and Khamis all headed military brigades.

The International Criminal Court has confirmed the capture of Seif al-Islam, who along with his father faces charges of crimes against humanity. Another son, Mohammed, was under house arrest.

Gadhafi’s prime minister, Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, arrived late on Sunday on the Tunisian island of Djerba — a favored location for defectors and negotiators from Tripoli.
Reuters

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