Defiant Gaddafi says not going anywhere, will die a martyr

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RaniaCairo, Feb 22 (PTI) Libya''s defiant leader MuammerGaddafi today vowed to fight his detractors and die a martyr,as outrage grew over the bloody suppression of anti-governmentprotests in his country.

Appearing on state television for the second time intwo days, a fiery Gaddafi called himself a bedouin warrior whohad brought glory to Libya, and rejected all calls forstepping down.

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

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

Wearing brown robes and a turban, the 65-year-oldLibyan leader asked his supporters to take back the streets ofthe country from protesters, as reports said that some of thecities had fallen to the opposition.

"If you love Muammar Gaddafi, go out and secureLibya''s streets," he shouted.

Gaddafi''s appearance was the second since reports saidyesterday that 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 send out the message that he did not intend to stepdown.

"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.

Pan-Arab TV channel Al Jazeera said quoting witnessesthat fighter jets had bombed parts of the city last night.

The UN Security Council is set to meet to discuss thecrisis in Libya, a day after UN chief Ban-Ki-moon telephonedGaddafi and asked him to put an end to the violence.

"I urged him that the human rights and freedom ofassembly and freedom of speech must be fully protected," Bansaid. PTI

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