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 Libyan Rebels Break Into Qaddafi Compound

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Nombre de messages : 39
Date d'inscription : 10/08/2011

MessageSujet: Libyan Rebels Break Into Qaddafi Compound   Mar 23 Aoû - 19:25

Libyan rebels stormed into Muammar Qaddafi’s compound in Tripoli after battling loyalist forces for control of the capital for a third day.

Gunfire and explosions were heard from the presidential headquarters in Bab Al Aziziya after the rebels broke into the heavily fortified compound and raised their flag there, Al Arabiya television reported. International broadcasters including the BBC televised live pictures showing palls of black smoke billowing over the site.

The rebel advance came after intense fighting in parts of Tripoli amid conflicting claims of who controlled the largest share of the city. Qaddafi’s son and presumed heir, Saif al- Islam, who rebels said they had arrested Aug. 21, appeared in public late yesterday in the capital and told the BBC his father, whose whereabouts are unknown, was safe. “Tripoli is under our control,” he said.

Opposition fighters were met by cheering crowds in the central Green Square when they swept into Tripoli over the weekend. Allies called on Qaddafi to end his 42-year reign to avoid further bloodshed from the conflict in Libya, which began in February after the government suppressed anti-government protests in the eastern city of Benghazi and other towns.
‘Very Dangerous’

NATO spokesman Roland Lavoie said today he would “not risk going into percentages” on how much of Tripoli the Libyan rebels hold. The fighting in the capital is “very serious and very dangerous,” he said.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which began its air campaign in March, and rebel leaders have downplayed the surprise visit by Saif al-Islam to the Rixos Hotel, where many foreign journalists are based.

“A brief appearance in the dead of night doesn’t indicate, to me, somebody who’s in control of a country or capital, or anything much at all really,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told reporters today in Brussels. “It shows that the remnants of the regime are on the run.”

Another of Qaddafi’s sons, Mohammed, who was also captured by rebels, later escaped from house arrest, Al Jazeera said.
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