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Libyan rebels enter Tripoli, Gadhafi's forces control 15-20% of the city

22. August 2011. | 00:11 12:48

Source: Emg.rs

Libyan protesters took control of the country's capital Tripoli on early Monday after two sons of ruling President Muammar Gadhafi were arrested, local media reported.Government forces still control parts of the city, including the areas around Col Gaddafi's Bab al-Azizia compound and near the hotel where foreign journalists are staying, south of the city centre.

Ever fiercer battles are being waged near the compound of Colonel Gaddafi in Tripoli, which since yesterday has been in the hands of the rebels who have taken over numerous areas of the city.

Gaddafi's Presidential Guard has surrendered, as have at least two - possibly three - of Gaddafi's sons.

Meanwhile, a diplomatic source in Tripoli said that the Libyan leader is still in his residence in Bab Al-Aziziya in Tripoli, where several tanks have been seen leaving the compound and which shelling one area in the capital.

Troops loyal to Gaddafi continue to fight against the rebels and control 15-20% of Tripoli

Libyan protesters took control of the country's capital Tripoli on early Monday after two sons of ruling President Muammar Gadhafi were arrested, local media reported.

The sound of heavy fighting was heard Monday morning near the residence in central Tripoli of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after rebel forces the previous day surged into the capital, taking over many districts, AFP reports.

Fighting was also heard in the south of the capital from around 04000 GMT, with heavy weaponry and automatic rifle fire being deployed, an AFP reporter said.

Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound has been blasted regularly since the start of the international military intervention in Libya on March 19 and most of the buildings in the complex have been flattened.

The strongman's whereabouts are unknown although he broadcast three audio messages on Sunday as rebel forces were sweeping through the capital and taking over the symbolic Green Square in the heart of the city.

At around 0430 GMT the crackle of Kalashnikov fire could be heard near the Hotel Rixos, which houses most of the foreign media.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi may still be in Tripoli as fierce fighting continues around his residence in the country’s capital, media reports said on Monday.

Government forces are refusing to surrender despite the rebels having gained control of much of Tripoli and arrested two of Gaddafi’s sons.

Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam was reported earlier to be arrested by the rebels, who entered Tripoli on Sunday. Later in the day Reuters reported that Gaddafi's another son Mohammed surrendered to protesters.

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, a son of Libya's ruler Moammar Gadhafi and a top official in the regime, has been captured by opposition forces, a rebel official said Sunday night.

Ali Said, general secretary of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council, said that the arrest had taken place in Tripoli. The head of the same rebel group also confirmed the capture in an Al Jazeera interview. There was no immediate reaction from Libyan government officials to the report.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam will be transported to the Hague International Court on Monday, a prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) said.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's eldest son, Mohammad, was giving an interview to Al Jazeera, when gun shots erupted in his house and he was arrested.

According to Al Jazeera, Mohammad was living with his wife, children and mother, who has been long divorced to Gaddafi.

Mohammad was not involved in politics and did not occupy a post in the government. Rebels put him on house arrest and promised to provide his security.

Libyan rebels moved into the capital Tripoli on Sunday and came within two miles of the city center, as Muammar Gadhafi’s defenders melted away. The rebel leadership said Qaddafi’s son and one-time heir apparent Seif Al-Islam has been arrested.

Shortly before midnight Sunday, Libyan rebels entered Tripoli with little resistance, taking control of outlying neighborhood.

Fighting has continued overnight in some districts while the rebels and their supporters have been celebrating on Green Square - which they renamed Martyrs' Square.

TV footage showed Libyans kneeling and kissing the ground of Tripoli in gratitude for what some called a "blessed day".

Government forces still control parts of the city, including the areas around Col Gaddafi's Bab al-Azizia compound and near the hotel where foreign journalists are staying, south of the city centre.

In an audio message broadcast late on Sunday, the Libyan leader urged residents to "save Tripoli" from the rebels.

"How come you allow Tripoli, the capital, to be under occupation once again?" he asked. "The traitors are paving the way for the occupation forces to be deployed in Tripoli."

Col Gaddafi is believed to have thousands of armed followers in the capital, although reports suggest a number of them have surrendered to the rebels.

The chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Mohammed Abdul Jalil said early on Monday: "I warn you, there are still pockets of resistance in and around Tripoli."

1,300 dead in Tripoli - gov't spokesman

In Tripoli a government spokesman said on Monday that the death toll from Sunday’s firefights in the capital had climbed to 1,300, 5,000 more were wounded and the local hospitals were unable to handle them all.

Musa Ibrahim asked NATO to check the rebels’ onslaught and start peace talks without any preliminary conditions.

Gadhafi ready for talks with rebels

Libya’s embattled leader Muammar Gadhafi is ready for immediate negotiations with the head of the rebel National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, a government spokesman said.

Reports this morning also suggest that Muammar Gadhafi's son, Saif Al-Islam, has been captured by the rebels.

According to al-Jazeera, the opposition units have reached the Green Square in downtown Tripoli. Earlier reports said a convoy of rebels entered a western neighborhood of the city. We also have news about the Presidential Guards laying down their arms.


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22. August - 28. August 2011.