- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
Intense battles erupt near seized Gadhafi compound
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Intense battles raged Thursday between about a thousand rebels surrounding 10 buildings filled with Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s loyalists in the neighborhood next to the Libyan leader’s captured compound.
Col. Gadhafi, in a new audio message, called on Libyans to destroy the rebels.
A regime spokesman told the Associated Press that Col. Gadhafi is safely in hiding and leading the battle against the rebels.
AP reporters on the scene of the battle in the Abu Salim neighborhood said rebels were hammering at least 10 buildings sheltering Gadhafi loyalists with anti-aircraft guns. There were huge explosions, and the air was clogged with smoke. At least three of the buildings were burning.
“They are holding at least 10 tall buildings. They have heavy weaponry, maybe even a tank,” Mohammed Karami, a rebel involved in the battle, said of the Gadhafi loyalists.
“Don’t leave Tripoli for the rats. Fight them, fight them and kill them,” Col. Gadhafi said in an audio message broadcast on Al-Arabiya television. “It is the time for martyrdom or victory,” he said, calling tribes outside the capital “to continue their march to Tripoli.” He said imams in mosques should call for youths to rise up “for jihad.”
He warned that the rebels will enter people’s homes and rape their women.
“They will enter your houses and deprive you of your honor,” he said. “NATO can’t remain in the air all the time.”
Gadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, in a call to AP’s Cairo office, said the longtime dictator was in Libya and his morale was high. Col. Gadhafi “is indeed leading the battle for our freedom and independence,” said Mr. Ibrahim, who was recognizable by his voice.
Mr. Ibrahim refused to say where Col. Gadhafi was hiding. Mr. Ibrahim, who for months appeared daily in televised news conferences since the start of the rebellion six months ago, added that he himself was in an undisclosed location in Libya and constantly on the move.
He said Col. Gadhafi was capable of continuing resistance for “weeks, months and years.”
Mr. Ibrahim claimed Col. Gadhafi’s forces controlled a “good portion” of the capital — a claim that contradicts what reporters are seeing on the ground — and other cities and towns. He also accused NATO of besieging Gadhafi strongholds such as Sirte.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Adam Lanza's dad: He would've killed me 'in a heartbeat'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again