Mayhem in Libya: Gaddafi’s Son Vows to ‘Fight to the Last Bullet’
February 21, 2011
(ChattahBox World News)– Political unrest in Libya escalated on Sunday, with strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s soldiers firing on citizen protesters, killing hundreds. There are reports that Gaddafi has fled the country for Venezuela, as his grip on power is becoming precarious. Some members of his elite guard have abandoned their leader and joined forces with the tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi. And several senior officials have quit in protest to the massacre of demonstrators by security forces. Amid all of this turmoil and bloodshed, Col. Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam delivered an incoherent and defiant speech on national television, vowing that his father would “fight to the last bullet,” as he warned that a “civil war” was imminent.The situation has quieted somewhat on Monday, but protesters have now overpowered the governments of al-Bayda and Benghazi. And a number of tribal leaders are now siding with the protesters.
“Communications are tightly controlled and Benghazi is not accessible to international journalists, but the picture that has emerged is of a city slipping from the grasp of security forces in the biggest challenge to Gaddafi’s rule since the “brotherly leader” seized power in a 1969 military coup.”
“Sunday’s violence took place after residents took to the streets in their thousands to bury scores of dead killed in the previous 24 hours. The United States said it was “gravely concerned” by what it called credible reports hundreds of people had been injured or killed.”
“A leading tribal figure in the city who requested anonymity said security forces had been venturing out of their barracks and shooting protesters in the street. Clashes were taking place on a road leading to a cemetery where thousands had gone to bury the dead. Buildings were on fire, he said.”
Libya is a major oil producer. After protesters took control of an air base in Benghazi, French oil workers escaped the city by helicopter.
Wikimedia/Agência Brasil/Creative Commons Attribution.