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No respite in Libya as Gaddafi vows to continue

By Biswajeet Panda

Muammar al-Gaddafi
Tripoli, Feb 23: What is it with dictators that makes them so arrogant to stick to power than decide in the best interest of the country and its citizens? First there was Hosni Mubarak who despite all his bravado had to eventually relinquish the President's post in Egypt and now it is the Libyan Premier Muammar Gaddafi who has emphasised that he is ready to die "a martyr" but not quit.

Appearing on the state television, Gaddafi said, "I am not going to leave this land. I will die here as a martyr...I shall remain here defiant."

An unrepentant Gaddafi called the protesters "rats and mercenaries" and he called on his supporters to chase them away and "cleanse Libya house by house" unless the protesters surrendered.

He said, "All of you who love Muammar Gaddafi, go out on the streets, secure the streets, don't be afraid of them ... Chase them, arrest them, hand them over."

There are reports that nearly 62 people have died so far in the clashes in Tripoli, an eastern city in Libya. A report by Reuters suggests that eastern Libya is no longer under Gaddafi's control. The agency quoted a former army major as saying, "All the eastern regions are out of Gaddafi's control ... The people and the army are hand-in-hand here."

Gadaffi, a charismatic leader has a penchance for female bodyguards and like most dictators is shunned by Western countries. He was called a "mad dog" by US President Ronald Reagan.

Support is continuing to wane for Gaddafi, who has ruled the Islamic country for 41 years. Some of his ministers and ambassadors have joined the protests and urged members of the United Nations to intervene and bring peace to Libya.

OneIndia News

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