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Defiant Gadhafi vows to fight on

[ 2011-03-24 10:40]     字号 [] [] []  
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A defiant Muammar Gadhafi said Western powers attacking Libya will end up in the dustbin of history as allied leaders mulled their next steps on Wednesday, the fifth day of military strikes on the north African country.

Early on Wednesday, coalition air strikes were launched overnight near the city of Misrata, east of Tripoli.

"We will win this battle," Gadhafi told supporters at his Bab Al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli, his first public appearance since the air strikes began.

An American admiral signaled a possible new phase in the air campaign could be attacks on Gadhafi's advancing tanks.

Rebels say Gadhafi's tanks have kept up their shelling of the rebel-held town of Misrata in the west, killing dozens of people, and have also been attacking the small town of Zintan near the border with Tunisia.

"Some of those cities still have tanks advancing on them," said Rear Admiral Peg Klein, commander of the expeditionary strike group aboard the USS Kearsarge off Libya, adding "we are authorized, and the president made the nexus between the Security Council resolution and what he considers our legal mandate to attack those tanks. So that is the type of target that our strike aircraft will go at."

While Western air power has grounded Gadhafi's warplanes and pushed back his forces from the brink of rebel stronghold Benghazi, his forces have been besieging Libyan rebel holdouts.

In the east of Libya, disorganized and poorly equipped rebel fighters failed to capitalize on the air campaign and are pinned down.

The rebels have been unable to dislodge Gadhafi's forces from the key junction of Ajdabiyah in the east, while government tanks are besieging the last big rebel hold-out of Misrata. There is a big risk of stalemate on the ground, analysts say.

At least two explosions were heard in the Libyan capital Tripoli before dawn on Wednesday. The roar of a warplane was heard above the city followed by a barrage of anti-aircraft gunfire.

"We will not surrender," Gaddafi earlier told supporters forming a human shield to protect him at his compound.

"We will defeat them by any means ... We are ready for the fight, whether it will be a short or a long one ... We will be victorious in the end," he said in a live television broadcast.

"This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history," Gaddafi said in the speech followed by fireworks as crowds cheered and supporters fired guns into the air.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Defiant Gadhafi vows to fight on

About the broadcaster:

Defiant Gadhafi vows to fight on

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.