Gaddafi orders rebellion crushed, says will die a martyr

RaniaCairo, Feb 22 (PTI) A defiant Muammar Gaddafi todayrefused to bow down to a massive uprising and vowed to "die amartyr" while exhorting his supporters to crush theanti-regime protests and take back the streets of Libya.

As outrage grew over the bloody suppression ofanti-government protests in his country, a fiery Gaddaficursed the elements he claimed were trying to stir unrest inthe Arab world, and raised the spectre of civil war by callingon his supporters to take to the streets.

"Damn those who try to stir unrest in Arab countries,"said Gaddafi, as international voices grew in condemnationover the bloodshed in Libya.

Appearing on state television for the second time in24 hours, the the 68-year-old leader called himself a bedouinwarrior who had brought glory to Libya, and rejected all callsfor stepping down.

"Muammar Gaddafi is the leader of the revolution, I amnot a president to step down... This is my country. Muammar isnot a president to leave his post, Muammar is leader of therevolution until the end of time.

"I am a bedouin warrior who brought glory to Libya andwill die a martyr," he said.

Wearing brown robes and a turban, he asked hissupporters to attack the protesters and take back the streetsfrom them, as reports said some of the cities had fallen tothe opposition.

"If you love Muammar Gaddafi, go out and secureLibya''s streets... Capture the rats," he said of anti-regimedemonstrators.

"Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs ...

Starting tomorrow the cordons will be lifted, go out and fightthem," he said.

The speech, which appeared to have been taped earlier,was aired on a screen to hundreds of supporters massed inTripoli''s central Green Square, Al Jazeera said.

"Go out of your homes and storm them" wherever theyare, he said claiming that the Libyan people were with him.

Gaddafi''s appearance was the second since reports saidthat he may have left the country for Venezuela.

He earlier made a fleeting appearance to lay to restspeculation of his departure, and called the foreign TVchannels who were relaying such reports as "dogs".

He appeared again on TV this evening, making a furiousspeech to make it clear that he did not intend to step down.

"Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle,at the pinnacle of the world... I am a fighter, arevolutionary from tents ... I will die as a martyr at theend," he said pounding his fists.

The statement came as latest reports put the figure ofdead in the continued violence in Libya at 300.

UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay,warned that the widespread attacks against civilians "amountto crimes against humanity", and called for an internationalinvestigation in possible human rights violations. (MORE) PTI

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