first_img Share Libyan air force planes also reportedly attacked ammunition depots in the eastern towns of Ajdabiya and Rajma.About 100,000 people have fled anti-government unrest in Libya over the past week, the UN estimates.The exodus of Egyptian workers from western Libya began on Wednesday, but has since been intensifying, says the BBC’s Jim Muir at the Ras Jdir border crossing with Tunisia. About 1,000 people an hour are crossing into Tunisia, he says. BBC News Share Tweet In Tajoura, a suburb of the capital, about 400 people protested against him on Monday, chanting: “The blood of martyrs won’t go to waste.” Gaddafi supporters have reportedly tried to break up the protest by firing into the air.Reporters say there have been long queues at banks in the capital as people tried to collect the 500 dinars ($410) promised to all families by the government in an attempt to quell the unrest.There has been fighting in the coastal town of Misrata, 200km (125 miles) east of Tripoli, with Col Gaddafi’s opponents repelling a government counter-attack.Anti-government forces still control Zawiya, 50km west of Tripoli, but pro-Gaddafi forces are surrounding the city. One resident told Reuters: “We are expecting attacks at any moment… They are in large numbers.” Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! Col Gaddafi is trying to shore up support in and around the capitalLibyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has told the BBC he is loved by all his people and has denied there have been any protests in Tripoli.Col Gaddafi said that his people would die to protect him.He laughed at the suggestion he would leave Libya and said he felt betrayed by leaders who had urged him to quit.Earlier world governments condemned attacks on Libyan civilians, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying Col Gaddafi must “go now”.The EU on Monday imposed sanctions including an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on Col Gaddafi and his close entourage.‘Mercenaries and thugs’Col Gaddafi was speaking in an interview with the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen in Tripoli.Col Gaddafi accused Western countries of abandoning Libya and said that they had no morals and wanted to colonise the country.When asked whether he would resign, he said he could not step down as he did not have an official position and insisted that the power was with the people. The interview with Col Gaddafi took place in a restaurant on the seafront overlooking the port in Tripoli. He came in with his entourage, he had sunglasses on, and some kind of autumnal brown robe. He was relaxed throughout the interview.He laughed quite a bit when asked various questions. He seemed very unconcerned about foreign pressure, saying the Libyan people were behind him, the Libyan people loved him.He departed at the head of his motorcade, which consisted of dozens of vehicles. They left at high speed.Col Gaddafi challenged those, including UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who have accused him of having money abroad to produce evidence.He said he would “put two fingers in their eye”.Col Gaddafi said true Libyans had not demonstrated but those who had come on to the streets were under the influence of drugs supplied by al-Qaeda.He said those people had seized weapons and that his supporters were under orders not to shoot back.Col Gaddafi is facing a massive challenge to his 41-year rule, with protesters in control of towns in the east.Unrest also continues in and around Tripoli, with reports of an anti-Gaddafi protest on Monday in a suburb of the capital as well as fighting in nearby Misrata and an attack by air force jets on ammunition dumps in the east of the country.Foreign ministers who had gathered at a UN human rights conference in Geneva called earlier for Col Gaddafi to go.Mrs Clinton accused Col Gaddafi and his followers of using “mercenaries and thugs” to attack unarmed civilians, and of executing soldiers who refused to turn their guns on fellow citizens.“It is time for Gaddafi to go, now, without further violence or delay,” she said.Mrs Clinton also said that although US naval vessels were being repositioned near Libya there was no military action pending.When asked whether the US would back Col Gaddafi going into exile, Mrs Clinton said: “If violence could be ended by his leaving… it might be a good step but we believe accountability must be obtained for what he has done.”‘Blood of martyrs’Although protesters have secured towns in the east, Col Gaddafi shows no signs of giving up in and around Tripoli. The BBC’s Jim Muir says volunteers are helping to provide food and drink to those who manage to cross Libya’s border with Tunisia News Libya protests: Gaddafi says ‘all my people love me’ by: – February 28, 2011 97 Views   no discussionslast_img

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