Rebels seize Gadhafis compound

first_imgTRIPOLI, Libya — Hundreds of Libyan rebels stormed Moammar Gadhafi’s compound Tuesday, charging wildly through the symbolic heart of the crumbling regime as they killed loyalist troops, looted armories and knocked the head off a statue of the besieged dictator. But they found no sign of the man himself.The storming of Bab al-Aziziya, long the nexus of Gadhafi’s power, marked the effective collapse of his 42-year-old regime. But with Gadhafi and his powerful sons still unaccounted for — and gun battles flaring across the nervous city — the fighters cannot declare victory.Hours after the battle erupted, a pro-Gadhafi TV channel quoted the Libyan leader as saying he retreated from his Tripoli compound in a “tactical move” after 64 NATO airstrikes turned it to rubble. Al-Rai TV said Wednesday it would air the comments in full and reported an excerpt in which Gadhafi vowed his forces would resist “the aggression with all strength” until either victory or death.His government’s chief spokesman also managed to get word out in a phone interview with the same station, promising “we will be back to take Tripoli back.”The rebel force entered the compound after fighting for five hours with Gadhafi loyalists outside, using mortars, heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns. They killed some of those who defended the compound and hauled off thousands of rifles, crates of weapons and trucks with guns mounted on the back in a frenzy of looting.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *