Wed, Feb 23, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Qaddafi defies revolt using tanks, choppers, warplanes

TO THE DEATH:Protesters say they’re ready to struggle on despite the fierce crackdown as they believe they will be killed anyway if they fail to oust the Libyan leader

Reuters, TRIPOLI

Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi used tanks, helicopters and warplanes to fight a growing revolt, witnesses said yesterday, as the veteran leader scoffed at reports he was fleeing after four decades in power. Warplanes bombed portions of the capital Tripoli yesterday in new attacks in the Mediterranean coastal city, and mercenaries fired on civilians, al-Jazeera reported.

In the eastern town of al-Bayda, resident Marai al-Mahry said by telephone that 26 people, including his brother Ahmed, had been shot dead overnight by Qaddafi loyalists.

“They shoot you just for walking on the street,” the resident said, sobbing uncontrollably as he appealed for help.

Protesters were being attacked with tanks and warplanes, he said.

“The only thing we can do now is not give up, no surrender, no going back. We will die anyways, whether we like it or not. It is clear that they don’t care whether we live or not. This is genocide,” Mahry, 42, said.

Hundred of refugees streamed into Egypt yesterday, piled onto tractors and trucks, describing a wave of killing and banditry unleashed by the revolt.

“Five people died on the street where I live,” Mohamed Jalaly, 40, said at Salum on his way to Cairo from Benghazi.

“You leave Benghazi and then you have ... nothing but gangs and youths with weapons,” he said. “The way from Benghazi is extremely dangerous.”


CPC Corp, Taiwan said it would withdraw its staff from Libya because of the unrest there.

The Taipei-based company has asked all employees in Tripoli, except the unit’s chief, to leave as soon as possible, CPC vice president Paul Chen said by telephone yesterday.

CPC has drilled two exploration wells in Libya and planned a third, Chen said. The company hasn’t made any oil and gas discoveries in the nation, he said.

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