Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Gadhafi: 'We will not surrender, we will not give up'

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vowed Tuesday that "we will not surrender," even as NATO airstrikes bombarded his compound in Tripoli.

"I am now speaking as planes and bombs fall around me," Gadhafi said in a live audio broadcast on state television. "But my soul is in God's hand. We will not think about death or life. We will think about the call of duty."

At least 35 loud explosions rocked Tripoli around midday Tuesday as NATO targeted a military base and Gadhafi's compound, state television reported.

The compound was under "intensive continuous bombardment," according to state TV, which reported buildings and infrastructure in the area were destroyed in the strikes.

"We will not surrender, we will not give up," Gadhafi said. "We have one option -- our country. We will remain in it till the end. Dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter."

The blasts Tuesday, and others Monday that Libyan officials said hit state television buildings, elicited heated responses from a government spokesman.

"We believe NATO understands that its military campaign is failing miserably," said Musa Ibrahim, the government spokesman. "No one has the right to shape Libya's future except for Libyans."

Ibrahim said Tuesday's morning blasts hit the popular guard compound and revolution compound, which are military barracks near Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Ibrahim said the attack on the television network killed two people and injured 16.
NATO disputed the account.

"We did not target or hit the Libyan broadcast facilities. What we did target was the military intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli," the alliance said. "The story coming from Libyan officials that we targeted and hit the state broadcaster's building is bogus."

The back and forth between Libyan officials and NATO continues a public relations war between the two sides.

Libyan officials have continually charged that NATO airstrikes have damaged civilian facilities and killed hundreds of civilians.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said recently that his forces have made "significant progress" in its U.N. Security Council mandate to protect Libyan civilians.

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