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Gadhafi says he'll never leave Libya

[ 2011-07-18 13:45]     字号 [] [] []  
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A series of NATO airstrikes rocked the Libyan capital before dawn on Sunday, hitting what Libyan state television said were civilian and military targets, while Muammar Gadhafi vowed never to leave his country.

As the explosions struck just after midnight, a string of dull rumbles could be heard and flashes seen to the city's east, as sporadic tracers of anti-aircraft fire arced into the night sky. State television said the strikes targeted the suburb of Tajoura.

The airstrikes continued for at least an hour and columns of heavy smoke rose everywhere as a result of the bombing of the town, roughly 25 kilometers east of Tripoli.

Libyan state television Al-Jamahiriya reported that the strike had hit "civilian and military sites" but did not specify what they were or mention if there had been any casualties.

Earlier, Gadhafi said on Saturday in a recorded speech that he would never leave his country or surrender in the face of rebel attacks and NATO airstrikes.

"They said Gadhafi will go to Honolulu," he said to supporters in the city of Zawiya, some 50 km west of Tripoli. "This is funny: To leave the graves of my forefathers and my people? Are you serious?"

"After we gave our children as martyrs, we can't backtrack, or surrender or give up or move an inch," he said.

His defiance came after Libya's main opposition group had been recognized by more than 30 nations as Libya's legitimate government.

On Friday, the Libya Contact Group recognized the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) as the sole and legitimate interlocutor of the Libyan people.

The announcement was made shortly after the conclusion of the fourth meeting of the group in Istanbul, which was attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and officials from 32 countries and seven international organizations.

"Henceforth and until an interim authority is in place, participants agreed to deal with the NTC as the legitimate governing authority in Libya," the group said in a statement.

It said Gadhafi's government no longer had any legitimacy in Libya and that he and his family members must leave the country.

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Gadhafi says he'll never leave Libya

Gadhafi says he'll never leave Libya

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.