Entries in Muammar Gaddafi (9)


Libya Celebrates ‘Liberation Day’

Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Just days after Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi was pronounced dead, Libya announced its liberation Sunday at 4 p.m. local time in Benghazi, ending an eight-month long civil war.

The declaration was delayed as rebel forces worked to secure control of the entire country.

The new government will not be formed without its share of challenges. The country is currently rattled by a national justice system that has 7,000 prisoners of war occupying cells around the country.

The Washington Post reports that the interim government has decided to plan an amnesty for Gadhafi fighters who did not participate in war crimes and who agree to cooperate under the new government.

Celebrations were overshadowed Sunday by word that the autopsy performed on Gadhafi found that he was killed after his capture.

A pathology report confirmed Sunday that Gadhafi died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libyan Rebels Meet Loyalists in Bani Walid Attacks 

Scott Peterson/Getty Images (TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Libyan rebel forces attacked pro-Gaddafi forces Friday in Bani Walid, one of four towns that remain under loyalist control.

The rebel forces initiated full-scale attacks in Bani Walid and Surt overnight Friday, though loyalists retaliated with fierce resistance, exchanging fire and rockets.

BBC News reports that NATO initiated air strikes over the town following the attacks.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund announced the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council (NTC) has been formally recognized as Libya’s new government, a surefire victory for Libyan rebels.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NATO: Prepare for a World Without Gaddafi

AFP - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the western powers need to prepare for a Libya without Muammar Gaddafi, advising that he could be killed any day now.

This comes as NATO pledges to continue its air war in Libya after Muammar Gaddafi promised he would never surrender. NATO has ratcheted up its campaign recently with the most intense bombing raids on Tripoli since March. Forces are targeting military barracks near Col. Muammar Gaddafi's residential compound. Gaddafi responded with a speech in which he vowed to "stay here 'til the end -- dead, alive, victorious."

Meanwhile, nearly six in 10 Americans support U.S. military involvement in NATO efforts against the Libyan government -- but few of them want to see it increase from its current level.

Fifty-eight percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll support the current U.S. role, essentially the same as in mid-April. Among supporters, seven in 10 say U.S. involvement should be held at the current level, vs. 15 percent increased and 11 percent trimmed back.

President Obama's approval rating for handling the situation also is essentially unchanged, at 44 percent -- but there's been an 8-point drop in disapproval, to 41 percent, with more undecided.

Gaddafi is a bone of contention in public views on the conflict -- supporters of U.S. involvement divide on whether its purpose should be only to protect civilians, or also to remove him from power.

That division helps explain why Obama's approval rating on Libya is lower than support for U.S. involvement overall. His approval rating slips from 62 percent of those who want only a civilian-protection mission (the current framework) to 54 percent of those who also want to oust Gaddafi. Among those who oppose the mission entirely, Obama gets just 25 percent approval.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libya Anti-Government Protests Spreading as Death Toll Rises

Photo Courtesy - Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Protesters clashed with the police in Libya as the brutal crackdown over the weekend spread to the country's capital, Tripoli, where angry demonstrators stormed the state television station, set fire to government buildings and the Olympic Square.

Anti-government protesters demanding the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi reportedly laid siege to military bases as the unrest in the country spread. The BBC was reporting that Gadhafi ordered the Air Force to bomb his own bases so rebels can't get their hands on weapons, but reports could not be confirmed.

Protesters carrying placards and signs saying "Free Libya" and "Gadhafi - murderer, criminal," descended on the nation's capital and its second largest city this weekend despite the government crackdown.

One witness in Tripoli who identified himself only as Adam, told Al Jazeera English he saw mercenaries driving by in Land Cruisers firing indiscriminately. He said he also heard gunfire in the city's Green Square and heard planes overhead.

Oil prices surged Monday morning as violence spread across the Middle East. Companies and countries prepared to evacuate their staff and citizens as the United States ordered embassy family members and all non-emergency personnel to depart Libya.

The escalating violence comes a day after Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, insisted in a televised message that his father is still in the country and in control and warned of a civil war if the protests aren't controlled. He vowed that they would "fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet."

He also blamed the uprising on Islamic extremists and foreigners, claimed the media was exaggerating casualty figures, and offered his people a deal: constitutional reform and a new government in 48 hours or civil war.

The State Department said it was "gravely concerned" about the "disturbing reports and images coming out of Libya," and said it had received "multiple credible reports that hundreds of people have been killed and injured in several days of unrest."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libya: US State Department Issues Travel Alert as Violence Increases

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BENGHAZI, Libya) - The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for Libya, urging Americans to avoid non-essential travel to the country amid rising violence.

The alert came Saturday, a day after the department issued the same type of alert for Bahrain, where political unrest has been far less deadly.

The advisory for Libya cites clashes between protesters and security forces in six Libyan cities and says the potential exists for "spontaneous demonstrations and violence" over the next several days. Among the cities mentioned in the advisory are Ajdabiya, Al-Bayda, Al Marj, Derna, Tobruk and Benghazi.

Sources in Benghazi and the eastern Libyan city of al Bayda tell ABC News that as many as 500 people have been killed and 2,000 injured as continued pressure is put on their 42-year leader, Muammar Gaddafi, to step down.

Gaddafi has now cut all communications to the country and is trying to wipe out the rebellion. Witnesses say the dead are piling up too quickly to count as protesters face heavy machine gun fire, snipers and the full weight of Libya's military.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dozens Killed in Libya Protests

Photo Courtesy - SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Dozens of people are reported dead as protests continue in Libya.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday calling for an end to Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year tenure as ruler. At least 84 people have been killed, according to the Human Rights Watch group, while numerous others have been injured.

Protesters were out in numbers in Benghazi and al-Badai, where chaos erupted. One doctor compared the atmosphere in the city to that of a scene from hell, according to a report by BBC News. Saturday’s demonstrations marked the sixth day of protest.

The social unrest in Libya is part of a wave of demonstrations that have swept through the Middle East, and follows the recent uprising in Egypt which led to that country’s 30-year ruler, Hosni Mubarak, stepping down from his post as president.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libya Protests Continue; 'Day of Rage' Leaves Dozens Dead

Photo Courtesy - Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Protesters in Libya are expected to take to the streets again on Friday for a fifth straight day, following violent clashes that have left dozens in the country dead and several others injured.

Demonstrators are demanding the ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi and his government.  On Thursday, they gathered across the country in what they called a "day of rage."  Clashes between them and Libyan security forces, some who reportedly used live rounds to disperse the crowds, resulted in the death of at least 24 protesters and injured several others, according to Human Rights Watch.

Thursday's clashes add on to violence that erupted between both sides earlier in the week.  On Tuesday, authorities responded to demonstrators throwing stones at them by using tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets, leaving 14 people with injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libyans Continue Protests Day After Clashes Leave 14 Injured

Muammar Gaddafi. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Protesters in Libya are continuing to take to the streets of Tropoli and Benghazi Wednesday, demanding the ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi and his government.

On Tuesday, demonstrators in Benghazi clashed with authorities, throwing stones at police, who responded with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets, according to the BBC.  Libya's Quryna newspaper reported 14 people were injured in the clashes, including 10 police officers and three protesters.

Libyans are now taking to social networking sites calling for more protests on Thursday.  On Twitter, the Libyan-American community, many of whom are political refugees of Gaddafi's regime, are encouraging protesters and trying to launch a following around the hashtag #Feb16.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Talks of Protests Force Action by Libyan President

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- After weeks of protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square led to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, reports say Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi fears his country may soon face similar protests.

Last week, Gaddafi used his security forces to detain political opponent Jamal al-Hajji for posting a message online urging people to protest the government. The message told the public to begin peacefully protesting on March 2. Gaddafi has been in power for over 40 years after assuming control in a military coup during the 1960s.

Al-Hajii's call is similar to that which began the revolution in Egypt. A call for protesters to take to the streets began online, especially on Twitter using the hashtag #Jan25, denoting the first day of the protests.

It is also believed that Gaddafi held a series of meetings this past week with top officials within his regime to discuss safety concerns in the event of large-scale protests.

There is no clear indication of who a successor would be in the event Gaddafi is taken out of power. Libya does not have a formal constitution, and thus has no legal method of naming a next in command. He does have seven sons, two of whom have been speculated as possible heirs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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