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Qadafi may have fled to Venezuela (unconfirmed but credible British sources)


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The latest news out of Libya seems to indicate that there are more towns in the west falling to protester control, whilt at the same time, there are many horror stories coming from foreigners leaving the country from Tripoli, and Gaddafi forces have launched attacks on cities near the capital.

I've seen reports that Ziwaya, Zuwara, Misrata, and Zintan have all fallen largely to protester control. But the latest reports show that 1000's of gaddafi forces have layed siege to two those cities closest to Tripoli with devastating attacks.

Tripoli seems to be solidly under Gaddafi control now.

Also apparently Chad has tried to aid Gaddafi by sending troops.

some updates:


8:30am Algerians returning home from Libya speak to Al Jazeera. One man who was in Tripoli tells us, as foreigners, they were targeted: "It was just crazy. It did not make sense. There were so many mercenaries shooting at people." Our reporter asked if he saw the mercenaries with his own eyes.

Yes, I did. Of course I did. They entered houses - but even the Libyans used violence against the foreigners - Moroccan, Tunisian, all Arabs - under the pretext they were against the regime.

8:40am Another Algerian tells Al Jazeera, having fled Libya:

I feel like crying, I am so happy to be back in Algeria. Thank God I escaped the carnage.

Did you see Baghdad? It was like being in Baghdad. They used planes, helicopters. People, women, were screaming, as they were slaughtering people. There were about 60 dead people in Green Square in the centre of Tripoli, these 60 people were slaughtered.

High buildings, the ministry of justice, were burned down. We were just working there, trying to make a living. Thank God, our president - bless him - has helped us. It took us four days to get to the airprort. You need too many papers to get in and leave the country.

11:11am James Bays, Al Jazeera correspondent, tells us of the scene of panic he witnessed just hours ago at Tripoli airport. Video of the interview coming soon.

The airport has become logjammed. Some have been there for three days in pretty awful conditions, though many more are outside. Police are beating people with clubs, stopping them getting into airport, saying it is full.

Flights are leaving and they are not full, because people can't get into the airport.

People are telling horrifying stories - one woman told me about watching soldiers shooting people in front of her, then shooting at them, as they do not want witnesses.

The authorities in control of the airport don't like international media, and they certainly don't like Al Jazeera

The airport is still very much in control of Gaddafi's forces. He appears to be consolidating his support.

11:13am Reports are coming in that Gaddafi forces are attacking Az Zawiyah city in north-west Libya, where thousands are currently demonstrating. An eyewitness phoned Al Jazeera, saying 50 injured people were taken to hospital in the city after the "Gaddafi Brigade" used anti-aircraft weapons in the assault. Several protesters were reportedly killed.
11:15am Libyan diplomats at the Libyan embassy in the Moroccan capital announced they are joining "the people's revolution" and the end of Gaddafi's rule. A video showed Libyan diplomats lowering a flag in the embassy's courtyard to half-mast, taking down a large picture of the Libyan leader, and then smashing it.
11:19am Egyptian workers fleeing Libya say anti-Gaddafi militia control the town of Zuwarah, 120km west of Tripoli, Reuters reports.
11:30am Seven reported killed and 40 injured by "Gaddafi Brigade" in Az Zawiyah
12:10pm Gaddafi forces blast a mosque minaret with anti-aircraft weaponry in Az Zawiyah during ongoing attack on protesters, says the AP news agency.
12:48pm Turks arriving back in their home country tell Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught:

Gaddafi didn't give us a drop of water - but the Libyan people gave us everything. Three cheers for the people's revolution!

I recall reading that of lots of Turks being sent home from Benghazi recently.

1:03pm The president of Chad tried to send troops into Libya to support Gaddafi, says Al Arabiya.
1:09pm Gaddafi is soon to address residents of Az-Zawiyah, where troops attacked protesters this morning, Al Arabiya reports. If it happens, we'll be covering it on our TV feed.

Does this mean he's already taken back the city?

2:07pm Chinese citizens fleeing across the border into Tunisia confirm to Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri in Ras Ajdir that there was fighting in the nearby Libyan cities of Az Zawiyah and Zuwarah
2:11pm Another caller from Misurata tells Al Jazeera that up to 1,000 members of Gaddafi forces - the "Hamza Brigade" - mounted an attack on protesters near the city's airport and were repelled, but later launched an attack on the centre of the city, and fighting continues. He says anti-Gaddafi protesters are holding their ground.

---------- Post added February-24th-2011 at 08:51 AM ----------


3:24pm There are multiple reports of gun battles are taking place between securituy forces and protesters in the town of al Zawiyah, 50 km west of Tripoli, on Thursday. Retuers reports that gun fire has broken out there, while sources tell Al Jazeera that the amry attacked the town this morning, firing shots at protesters for roughly four hours.

The death tolls vary greatly - from 16 to 100, and Reuters is unable to confirm any numbers. The agency reports that the army attacked the Souq Mosque where protesters had been camped out for several days:

The soldiers opened fire with automatic weapons and hit the mosque's minaret with fire from an anti-aircraft gun, he said. Some of the young men among the protesters, who were inside the mosque and in a nearby lot, had hunting rifles for protection.

The witness said that earlier in the day, a Gaddafi "envoy" had come to al Zawiyah and told the protesters in the mosque to leave or "you will see a massacre". He also said, "Those who attacked us are not the mercenaries, they are the sons of our country".

3:15pm The US state department has issued a statement saying that in a meeting between two US diplomats and the senior Libyan officials, the US diplomats were told that while some journalists were allowed to report from Libya, others who had entered the country illegally (presumably through the country's broken eastern border) were considered "al Qaida collaborators" by the Libyan government.

That means people like those from Al Jazeera or CNN in the east would be arrested and perhaps executed if caught.

4:00pm An eyewitness named Ali from Az Zawiyah tells Al Jazzera that soldiers fired at protesters with heavy fire arms for hours this morning. Some of the protesters, he said were armed with hunting rifles, others were unarmed.

"The shooting was direct to the people. They shot the people in the head or in the chest. They were trying to kill the people, not just terrify them," said Ali.

He added that at least 100 people had been killed and that around 400 injured were taken to the hospital in Az Zawiyah.

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I wonder what happens with his sons if someone assassinates Qadaffi? Would they continue the fight? Flee the country? How many sons does he have?

I don't think it would matter... I think if Qadafi is killed the family loses any remaining control they have.

Now where's one of those Predator drones when you need them...

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There is a video out supposedly

showing the Libyan army take over the misrata airport.

This may mean that Gaddafi has retaken Misrata, although I'm not sure.

Also both the resigned justice minister of Libya and a former US deputy secretary of energy have said that Gadaffi has chemical and bio weapons still.

The justice minister thinks Gadaffi would use them if he has to.

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More on misrata and ziwaya on cnn

Middle of the article, and as for G's speech notice he says he has 3 million Libyans instead of 6 million which is odd to say the least.


( having a hard time posting this from my itouch)

Earlier Thursday, witnesses told CNN that at least seven people had been killed in clashes in Zawiya. In addition, 40 people were wounded, a witness said.

At the hospital, a woman, who said her son had been shot, told CNN, "Blood is all over the streets."

The woman said unarmed people were being fired on indiscriminately and that she believed far more than seven people were killed.

"We want to call all human beings: Zawiya is finished," she said. "The people (are) finished. The people (are) dying."

"People are crying," she said, calling for help from the world. "Where (are) the people? Where is the peace?"

The hospital in Zawiya is "a disaster," she said, adding that some shooters had entered the hospital and insisted that no one was killed.

Continuing a stream of defection among some Libyan diplomats, the ambassador to Jordan, Mohammed Hassan Al Barghathi, said Thursday he is resigning due to the unrest. He also paid condolences to Libyan families who lost their loved ones in the violence.

(back in the hotel room for the moment)


[LIBYA, 5:33 p.m. ET, 12:33 a.m. local] U.S. President Barack Obama discussed steps the United States plans to take regarding Libya in a phone call Thursday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Embassy in Washington said.

The French statement on Obama's discussion with Sarkozy indicated possible U.S. movement toward a decision on specific steps.

"President Sarkozy presented the measures currently being examined by the European Union at his behest, and which he hopes will be swiftly adopted," the statement said. "President Obama presented the measures that the United States plans on taking."

U.S. officials have said all options were under consideration, including sanctions and enforcement of a no-fly zone, to try to stop the Libyan government from attacking protesters.


"We will be looking for ways to hold to account the people who are responsible for these things and they should bear that in mind," Hague said. "We will want some kind of international investigation."

David Cameron, the British prime minister, warned that Gaddhafi's continued violence against protesters was "completely unacceptable'.'

"It must stop and, as I am absolutely clear, if it does not stop there will be consequences,'' Cameron said, speaking in Qatar on a tour of the Middle East and Gulf.

A UN Human Rights Council draft resolution on Libya is due to be discussed on Friday in Geneva.

The draft includes recommendations on sending an independent, international inquiry team to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law in the country.

It also recommends for the UN general sssembly to remove Libya from the Human Rights Council “in view of gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Libyan authorities".

Europe and Russia on Thursday strongly condemned "the use of force against civilians" in Libya and urged respect for human rights and international law, the European Commission said

NATO said on Thursday that the military alliance had no plans to enter the conflict at the moment.

During a visit to Ukraine, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's secretary-general, said that the alliance "has no plans to intervene".

"We have not received any requests in that respect. And anyway, any action should be based on a clear UN mandate,'' he said.

On CNN they just showed what must have been damn near every person in Benghazi cheering and celebrating arm in arm. It looked like around a million people all massed together.


2:53am: According to posts on micro blogging site Twitter, ad hoc government in Benghazi has set up committees to deal with security, public health, food supplies and evacuating foreigners.
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Benghazi, Libya (CNN) -- Doctors at a field hospital in Martyrs Square in Zawiya said Friday that 17 people were killed and another 150 were wounded when government forces attacked the city. They predicted the death toll would rise by morning.

Six pro-regime soldiers who were captured said they had been told that the city was being run by Arab militants and it was their job to liberate it, according to the doctors, who asked not to be identified. The soldiers added that they had been misled so that they would fight against their countrymen, the doctors said.

By the end of the day, the situation was calm in the seaside city, they said.

The casualties were announced shortly after Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi accused followers of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden of brainwashing the youth of Zawiya with hallucinogenic drugs, resulting in the unrest.

Al Jazeera needs to work on their editing, lol:


2:46am: According to witnesses, pro-Gaddafi forces took control of Misrata town late on Thursday after evicting forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi from the Mediterranean coastal city, prompting street celebrations, a witness said.
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On CNN they're talking about how we still can't get those ferries of US citizens out of libya despite that they should have left days ago.

I wonder if Gaddafi is using them as some sort if hostages against us.

Also Chavez decided to show his crazy side today:


4:27am: Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has backed Muammar Gaddafi on Twitter.

Chavez twitted:

Gaddafi is facing a civil war.

Long live Libya. Long live the independence of Libya.

5:01am: Venezuela's top diplomat on Thursday echoed Fidel Castro's accusation that Washington is fomenting unrest in Libya to justify an invasion to seize North African nation's oil reserves.

Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister said:

They are creating conditions to justify an invasion of Libya.


South Korea drops leaflets into North about Egypt, Libya

(Reuters) - South Korea's military has been dropping leaflets into North Korea about democracy protests in Egypt and also sent food, medicines and radios for residents as part of a psychological campaign, a legislator said on Friday.

The campaign was aimed at encouraging North Koreans to think about change, conservative South Korean parliament member Song Young-sun said.

The food and medicines were delivered in light-weight baskets tied to balloons with timers programed to release the items above the target areas in the impoverished North, Song said in a statement.


(Reuters) - Algeria on Thursday lifted a 19-year state of emergency in a concession to the opposition designed to keep out a wave of uprisings sweeping the Arab world.
An order signed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika lifting the state of emergency came into force on Thursday after it was published in the government's official gazette.

Algeria is a major energy exporter that pumps gas via pipelines under the Mediterranean to Europe.

The state of emergency was imposed to help the authorities combat Islamist rebels, but in the past few years the violence has subsided and government critics have alleged the emergency rules are being used to repress political freedoms.

The lifting of the state of emergency will have few practical implications. New rules were also adopted which will allow the military to continue involving itself in domestic security, as it had done under the emergency powers.

The emergency rules banned protest marches in Algiers, but Bouteflika said this month the restriction would remain in force indefinitely


8:02am: Stephanie Bernstein, a rabbi in Bethesda, Maryland, has been one of the most outspoken victims of the Lockerbie bombing and says she hopes the Libyan leader will be held accountable. Monica Villamizar blogs about it, citing Bernstein:

"All those people in the diplomatic world who thought somehow [Gaddafi] would be a modern progressive leader should be ashamed of themselves."

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Apparently there have been protests all around Tripoli this afternoon.

Reportedly at least five protesters were killed in one district.


There was another article on reuters that talks about how one of gaddafi's sons has 10,000 troops that are super loyal and highly elite.

Supposedly they are the ones who have been assaulting Misrata.

Cnn is reporting sniper and heavy weapon fire in tripoli

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(2nd time typing this because I accidentally closed the browser after putting together a bunch of updates for about half an hour . I'll skip some of the less timely stuff this time.)

(anyway, here's an update before I go to bed and head out on the road tomorrow)

Gaddafi vows to crush protesters


The speech, which also referred to Libya's war of independence with Italy, appeared to be aimed at rallying what remains of his support base, with specific reference to the country's youth.

"We can defeat any aggression if necessary and arm the people," Gaddafi said, in footage that was aired on Libyan state television on Friday.

"I am in the middle of the people.. we will fight … we will defeat them if they want … we will defeat any foreign aggression.

"Dance … sing and get ready … this is the spirit … this is much better than the lies of the Arab propaganda," he said.

During Friday prayers, a religious leader in the town of Mselata, 80km to the east of Tripoli, called for the people to fight back.

Immediately after the prayers, more than 2,000 people, some of them armed with rifles taken from the security forces, headed towards Tripol to demand the fall of Gaddafi, Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reported.

The group made it as far as the city of Tajoura, where it was stopped by a group loyal to Gaddafi.

They were checked by foreign, French-speaking mercenaries and gunfire was exchanged. There were an unknown number of casualties, Moshiri reported, based on information from witnesses who had reached on the Libyan-Tunisian border.

This is the closest to Tripoli outside of the city that I've heard of so far.

Very interesting.

In the town of Derna, protesters held banners with the messages such as "We are one Tribe called Libya, our only capital is Tripoli, we want freedom of speech".

Al Jazeera's correspondent in Libya reported on Friday that army commanders in the east who had renounced Gaddafi's leadership had told her that military commanders in the country's west were beginning to turn against him.

They warned, however, that the Khamis Brigade, an army special forces brigade that is loyal to the Gaddafi family and is equipped with sophisticated weaponry, is currently still fighting anti-government forces.

Notice they are pointedly asking for freedom of speech and are not singling out one tribe over another, but actually speaking of a unified Libya.

Clashes were also reported in the city of Misurata, located 200km east of Tripoli, where witnesses said a pro-Gaddafi army brigade attacked the city's airport with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

They told Al Jazeera that pro-democracy protesters had managed to fight off that attack. "Revolutionaries have driven out the security forces," they said, adding that "heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns" had been used against them.

Mohamed Senussi, a resident of Misurata, said calm had returned to the city after the "fierce battle" near the airport.

"The people's spirits here are high, they are celebrating and chanting 'God is Greatest'," he told the Reuters news agency by telephone.

Another witness warned, however, that protesters in Misurata felt "isolated" as they were surrounded by nearby towns still in Gaddafi's control.

Protesters and air force personnel who have renounced Gaddafi's leadership also overwhelmed a nearby military base where Gaddafi loyalists were taking refuge, according to a medical official at the base.They disabled air force fighter jets at the base so that they could not be used against protesters.

Soldiers helped anti-Gaddafi protesters take the oil terminal in the town of Berga, according to Reuters.

The oil refinery in Ras Lanuf has also halted its operations and most staff has left, according to a source in the company.

Also the main Libyan ambassador to the UN recently defected to the oposition after being reluctant to join in his lessor compatriots at the UN.

In other news Saif Gaddafi said that the army had been holding back so far and had been giving the protesters until saturday to stop. Not good news, if it isn't just hot air.

To the cities, let's take a look at what is supposedly under protester and regime control right now.

The regime has been said to control Tripoli, although it's also full of protesters who are forced to hide in their homes most of the time and are shot up when they come out. Also they control Surt with a large security and loyalist force, according to Ben Wedeman, and the article mentioned a city close to Tripoli called Tajoura where protesters were pushed back by mercenaries.

In addition they also control the Tunisian border and the area around that.

The regime is said to have about 5,000 army troops and 10,000 special forces under the kamis brigade. Also they have the mercenaries and armed loyalist civilians.

The protesters reportedly have control over: (from west to east) Tobruk, Derna, Al Bayida, Ajdabiya, (Surt is a good ways after that along the coast, but supposedly blocking the path to Tripoli) Misrata, Zintan, and somewhere between those and Tripoli is Msleta and Tajoura. (after checking wiki and google maps, Tajoura seems to be on the outer edge of Tripoli itself http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tajoura) Skipping over the Tripoli area, the protesters are reportedly in control of Zawaiya, and Zawara. There's still a quite a few places in between all those citites that we haven't much about yet and of course there are a bunch of little towns and cities to the south away from the coast, spread out across the land.

Here's a map of Libya to help give people an idea of what has been acccomplished so far and what may be to come:


For newer updates check:


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I completely understand the hate for the UN now.

Anyway, I have a question. Who are the protesters? We knew where they were in Tunisia and Egypt and in Bahrain. I haven't really heard anything about them in Libya outside of them being anti-Gaddafi.

(And what the hell is the correct way to spell Gaddafi/Qadafi/Qadaffi's name? I've seen so many different versions.)

---------- Post added February-26th-2011 at 03:17 AM ----------

I don't know exactly, because I don't know nearly enough about what Obama has at his disposal.

(honestly I would make a horrilbe president anyway)


Sorry I'm just getting to this. I feel what you are saying. I definitely think we should be doing all we can possibly do help them. As long as our name stays out of it. I just feel like our open interference can have disastrous affects. For the protesters now and for the world in the future. The liberal in me wants to swoop in and help free everyone in the world (We are the world, we are the children) but history has taught me otherwise. I think most--if not all--of the problems we face today are the result of us getting involved. We didn't see the consequences at the time (and maybe some of it was worth it to take on Communism) but they make complete sense now. I just think we need to stay out of it as much as we can. Let people handle their own problems but be there for them when they're ready to join the world. I think we need to do as much as possible to ensure that Tunisia and Egypt and hopefully Libya are successful democracies. But we need to let them put themselves in that position first.

As far as a no-fly zone is concerned, I just think that's such a slippery slope. I've been reading a (great) book about we came to be involved in Vietnam. The situation is completely different, but I think the slippery slope factor is still relevant. Start with one thing--a small role--and end up somewhere you never intended or wanted to be.

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Do you note the difference in Libyan military and Egypt's?

The military there (aside from his personal brigade are weak and not united)...I look for a bloodbath from merc forces being assembled and increased isolation of sectors in the coming weeks.

He is in a much better position to weather the coming storm unless those close to him attempt a coup


Egyptians fleeing Libyan anger pour into Tunisia


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The UN has unanimously adopted a resolution for sanctions, travel bans, and asset freezes for Gaddafi's family and some top regime members, also to refer the case to the international criminal court.

Showing the international representatives bragging...uh I mean giving a press conference, uh whatever it is, on Al Jazeera live now.

Also Obama has called for Gaddafi to step down earlier today.

In other news:



As many as 50 civilians and many more severely wounded in an attack by Gaddafi loyalists in the oil refining town of Zawiyah, 50km west of Tripoli, a resident named Ibrahim told Reuters.

Here's some news from this morning:



AJE source says that "security officials were at Tripoli medical centre all day today ... the injured did not go in for help". He estimates that 70 were killed last night alone.

"They were left to drown in their own blood ... the blood banks are empty ... last night (Friday) Tripoli medical centre was over run with the wounded"

Hana Elgallal, a legal and human rights expert in Benghazi, said some in Libya will be disappointed that the UN did not impose a no-fly zone. "I'm one person who was hoping that we'd get that," she told Al Jazeera.

We will not be able to move and help Tripoli because of the fear that he will use his planes. But whatever we get now we will look at it positively and consider it a victory and success.

"Hopefully things will escalate in our benefit soon to defuse the massacres in Tripoli."


In this audio note, posted on Twitter by @Feb17voices with an English translation, a Tripoli man describes a "tumultuous" situation in the Libyan capital.

"Out of 100 stores, maybe four are open. Out of 100. Even the ones that are open are not at ease. Even the food supplies are beginning to dwindle."
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Could a country like Turkey do it?...:pfft:

Why not them and the Arab League?....are the Libyans that tough or are they saving their forces to crush their own people?

Isn't Turkey the 3rd largest air force in NATO?

---------- Post added February-27th-2011 at 08:33 AM ----------

France is very much against it supposedly.

I'm surprised they haven't surrendered already

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