TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libyan rebels sacked Muammar Gaddafi’s Tripoli bastion, seizing weapons and smashing symbols of a 42-year dictatorship whose demise will transform modern Libya and send a warning to other Arab autocrats under popular pressure, especially in Syria.
As night fell Tuesday after a day in which rebels overran Tripoli, meeting little resistance with few casualties, heavy fighting was reported in a southern desert city, Sabha, that insurgents forecast would be Gaddafi loyalists’ last redoubt.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Hundreds of triumphant Libyan rebels flooded into the last bastion of Muammar Gaddafi’s power Tuesday, looting in his Tripoli compound for weapons and trophies, and shouting “Gaddafi is finished.”
Rebels in pickup trucks broke into the heavily fortified base — off limits to ordinary people throughout Gaddafi’s 42-year rule — through one of the main gates, shooting in the air in jubilation as they searched for the elusive leader.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Triumphant rebels seized Muammar Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli on Tuesday after a fierce battle with a loyalist rearguard but there was no word on the fate of the Libyan leader who vowed again to fight “to the end.”
Reuters journalists watched rebel fighters stream through the sprawling Bab al-Aziziya headquarters compound, firing in the air in celebration after hours of heavy clashes. But it was unclear whether the “Brother Leader” or his sons were still somewhere in the complex’s maze of buildings and bunkers.
LONDON (Reuters) – “Bloody foreigners…” someone tweeted when word circulated that Turkish and Kurdish people were gathering on the streets of east London to defend their shops and cafes from looters.
“…They come to our country and protect our neighborhoods and communities.”
FRONT LINE NEAR BIR GHANAM, Libya (Reuters) – Ten Libyan rebels were reported killed and 172 wounded in an attack on the eastern oil port of Brega on Saturday, while insurgents drove back forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi in the west.
In the latest of a series of speeches apparently designed to show he enjoys support in the areas he controls, Gaddafi described the rebels as worthless traitors and rejected suggestions that he was about to leave the country.
BIR AYAD, Libya (Reuters) – Heavy clashes between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi broke out on Saturday on the front line in Libya’s Western Mountains at the town of Bir Ghanam, as insurgents seek to push toward Tripoli.
Sustained gunfire and volleys of artillery could be heard from the village of Bir Ayad, 15 km (9 miles) south of Bir Ghanam. Rebels at Bir Ghanam hold the high ground on the outskirts of the town, their closest position to the capital, Tripoli, about 80 km (48 miles) away.
ZINTAN, Libya (Reuters) – The rebels in Libya’s Western Mountains have shown resilience over months of battling Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, but divided loyalties could frustrate their ambitions for a quick march on Tripoli.
Rebel fighters in the region, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Tripoli are not organized into a single unit. Instead they are split by town and sometimes also by ethnic group, making it tough for them to sustain an offensive beyond their home turf.
AL-QAWALISH, Libya, July 14 (Reuters) – Libyan
rebel fighters prepared for a new offensive south of Tripoli on
Thursday but tactical errors raised new questions about whether
they will be able to march on the capital.
Western states are frustrated by a five-month rebel campaign
that — despite support from NATO warplanes — has failed to
overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and some governments
are now looking instead to talks as a way out of the conflict.
AL-QAWALISH, Libya, July 14 (Reuters) – Libyan rebel
fighters were digging in to this village south of Tripoli on
Thursday after losing it then taking it back in a see-saw battle
that exposed the military frailties of rebel forces.
Rebel fighters took the village, a staging post on the way
to the capital about 100 km (60 miles) north, a week ago, then
they lost it to government troops on Wednesday morning, and by
nightfall they were back in control.
ZINTAN, Libya (Reuters) – Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday retook a village south of the capital seized by rebels a week ago, delivering a set-back to rebel plans for a march on Tripoli.
The loss of the village of Al-Qawalish, about 100 km (60 miles) from the capital, underlined the faltering pattern of the rebel advances that has led some of the rebels’ Western backers to push for a political solution to the conflict instead.