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The Daily Need

Clashes continue in Tripoli, as Western officials say Gadhafi regime is ‘crumbling’

This post is being updated as information becomes available.

Libyan rebels said Sunday that they had begun to converge on the capital of Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi’s last remaining stronghold, in what opposition forces and Western officials said could be a last, decisive challenge to the autocrat’s four-decade-long rule. The International Criminal Court, meanwhile, confirmed that rebels had apprehended Gadhafi’s influential son and heir apparent, Saif al-Islam, who has been sought by the court for months on charges of war crimes.

Video from the streets of Tripoli, posted online by bloggers affiliated with the opposition movement, seemed to show residents gathering in celebration of the rebels’ advance and singing the Libyan national anthem, the first signs of anti-Gadhafi sentiment in the capital in months. But there were still reports of clashes throughout the city, including in the easternmost district of Tajoura. According to opposition bloggers who posted excerpts of his remarks, a rebel spokesman, Mahmoud Shammam, said late Sunday evening, “We are controlling most of Tripoli, but right now we cannot say we control everything.”

Rumors quickly began to spread that Gadhafi himself had been captured amid the clashes, or that he may have fled to a sympathetic country, such as Algeria. A vaguely worded statement from the ICC initially led some journalists and opposition leaders to believe that Gadhafi had been arrested along with his sons. That report was later discredited, but a spokesman for the Libyan opposition in Britain, Guma El-Gamaty, wrote on his Twitter account late Sunday evening that “Gadhafi himself may have been arrested in Alamiriya district outside Tripoli.” An opposition contact, meanwhile, told the @feb17voices Twitter feed, run by UCLA graduate student John Scott-Railston, that there were “many doubts that Gaddafi remains in Tripoli.”

Libyan opposition bloggers reported that the rebels had made inroads into Tripoli with relative ease, and were greeted with celebrations and residents waving the flag of the opposition, accounts that were corroborated by Western media in Tripoli. One blogger affiliated with the “Shabab,” or the Libyan Youth Movement, suggested that Tripoli’s Green Square, a frequent gathering place for Gadhafi loyalists, had been renamed “Martyrs’ Square.” The Associated Press reported that Gadhafi’s defenders had “melted away” as opposition forces swept in from the west, taking town after town and overwhelming the regime’s entrenched fighters.

The Libyana phone company, the largest mobile operator in Libya, sent out text messages to all of its subscribers congratulating the rebels and celebrating Gadhafi’s imminent ouster, according to Libyan opposition bloggers. “Long live free Libya, long live the National Transitional Council,” the mobile operator wrote, referring the Libyan opposition council, according to a translation provided by opposition bloggers. The message added: “We congratulate the Libyan people on the fall of Gadhafi.”

The Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said in a statement, “The Qadhafi regime is clearly crumbling. The sooner Qadhafi realises that he cannot win the battle against his own people, the better — so that the Libyan people can be spared further bloodshed and suffering.” Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, Victoria Nuland, urged the Libyan opposition to begin planning for a post-Gadhafi Libya. “Clearly the offensive for Tripoli is under way,” Nuland said in a statement.

The rebels, for their part, have already pledged to establish an open society that adheres to liberal, secular ideals. Shammam, the opposition council’s information minister, said Sunday that the rebels were urging residents to keep calm and maintain public safety by avoiding acts of revenge or looting. Shammam promised that, if the rebels do capture Gadhafi, they will not “engage in revenge. He will be put on trial.” Of Gadhafi’s supporters, he added: “We will not put them on trial. We will tell them ‘You are Libyan, join the revolution.’”

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  • Ernie Grills

    Remember, WingNuts, Obama was the main instrument
    in ousting this Khadafi terrorist when scores of you blasted him for instigating the No Fly Zone and subsequent aid to these rebels. You all said we were probably HELPING new terrorists. The President also gave the go ahead and
    instituted the top priority and actions that KILLED #1 terrorist Bin Laden. He gave the kill order for the Seals to take out THREE Somali terrorist sea
    hijackers. Got us OUT of that huge mistake called Iraq, and about to
    draw way down our troops and costs in Afghanistan. It amazes me
    the LACK of due credit and respects by ANY of the major media on THIS
    part of Obama’s leadership. It’s almost as if these corporate media are
    being told/directed on these matters. Hmmmm. All they want to do
    is BLAME him for not getting us back to “Clintonesque” prosperity in
    only 2 1/2 years of office. Or some arbitrary quote from someone else besides him about 8% unemployment. That sucks. And it’s wrong. The worst
    debacle since Black Friday occurs in spring/summer2008 and the mass
    media pitches it like it’s all Obama’s now. Well; the cerebral voting block, (ie; Dems) know better. And this Nov ’12 it will be proven again. Romney/Bachmann. You’re joking, right?

  • Daniel Shaw

    Mr Grills are you a disinformation agent working for the government? because it seems like either you are. Or you spend far far far to much time watching the propaganda and lies that comes out of every single mainstream media with out exception, we killed bin laden in 2011? right. show me the proof guy. Just because you are dissing on mainstream media, (and I wold have done a better job at that by the way.) Doesn’t mean that you can just regurgitate something you watched on msnbc not cnn, and pretend that you’ve got a single leg to stand on, IT’S ALL LIES DUDE! ALL OF IT! and the dems. or … spiritually and socially diseased, as I like to call them, did not prove anything besides the fact that stockholm syndrome is on the rise again… and/or the indoctrination is officially complete.. now all we have to do is facilitate all of the citizens into socialized medic care, I dunno, lets call it a new swine/bird flue, and it’s a new law (passed by dems) that everyone in the country has to be vaccinated. and the people who aren’t indoctrinated can just be killed, kind of like the holocaust, but a lot cleaner, better looking for the photo ops and PR, 

    And I know a lot of that sounds pretty loony right? well not as loony as you getting pumped up and excited about lies lies lies, d-bag idiot, It will be proven again? omg…
    And who is Rommney/Bachmann???? It’s called RON PAUL idiot, that’s another reason I know you are infected with indoctrination, You only regurgitate what the mainstream hypnotist tells you to, why else would you say rommney bachmann and not ron paul? exactly like mainstream media does 3/4 of the time. BAH! i am going to scrub my brain with electricity by sticking a fork in a socket, hopefully I can wash the stink of democrat off my thoughts…

  • Joyce Ford

    You lost me at “wingnuts”.  I am not a wingnut.

  • Christian Jensen

    Daniel Shaw…. did you forget to take your meds dude? Or are you a right-wing radio host?

  • S6gallardo

    Wake-up, just vote on November 2012, History will be written by the Victors…all that we say now means nothing till the history ink drys, collects dust and we start to hate Obama again. Remember we didn’t land on the moon, Superman is real, WWII really didn’t happen, Ron Paul is Good for the Country, The Opposition is really the Democratic-Republican Party or if you like the Republican-Democratic Party, okay, ok. The Tea-Baggers somewhere inbetween the pubs-demos…gee, I wish there was another party more towards, you know instead of right, left, what about top, bottom, north, west, south, east…or, maybe a beer party with bbq & all the trimmings. Sounds kinda nutty.okay, ok, kk…throw in some nuts with your beer.Everyone who agrees or dis…go for it…your truth, will set you free…something like, time will tell, you know 11/2012, can’t wait, can you?! Wait Till November 2014, then November 2016…Ohhh, wait-up Nelly, the World is gonna end December 2012…So forget about it. Pack-up your bags cause we are out of here…What yourrr not packing…I meant, the other other bag, not your JOHN WAYNE BAG.
    JUST REMEMBERED…something I read, that was written
    after WWI(another one that didn’t happen, what’s happening!?;). Where someone wrote… the depression had to be paid for after a world war, the roaring 20′s
    What, get in debt & think you don’t have to pay for it?
    Sounds like now…
    Oh, wait a second, that didn’t is funny, maybe sad…that people forget what really happened and nobody is to blame, of course, but the other guy. That other guy, is me, you, USa…it was much better when we had a common enemy…back in the ussr, you don’t kkknoooow how lucky we were then, back in the USsr, boy…are u packed yet…happy days are here 2008 and again in 2012, can’t wait till November 2012…are you counting down…don’t 4get2vote!
    Hasta La Vista Baby !! A famous publican saying, as he lowers his cool sunglasses and rides off into the sunset….YaAAA BABYYYYY!!