Embattled Gaddafi vows not to give up
Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:31AM
Local residents greet advancing fighters on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011.
Libya's embattled dictator Muammar Gaddafi has pledged not to surrender while opposition fighters advanced into the heart of the capital Tripoli.
In an audio message on Sunday, Gaddafi also urged the people of Tripoli to "purge the capital" even as fighters swept through the city and took over the symbolic Green Square, AFP reported.
The whereabouts of the Libyan ruler are unknown, but a diplomatic source said the strongman could still be in his Bab al-Aziziya compound in central Tripoli.
The compound has been targeted since the start of the NATO-led airstrikes on March 19 and most of the buildings in the complex have been flattened.
The source added that Gaddafi has many bunkers there that he could take cover in.
Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Monday that the Libyan regime controls no more than 10-15 percent of the capital.
"We have seen opposition to the regime advance further over the last hours and we can say that at the present time no more than 10 to 15 percent of the town is still in the hands of the regime," he said.
Also, US President Barack Obama said Gaddafi's regime was at a "tipping point" and that the "tyrant" must go.
The European Union spokesman Michael Mann said the end of the Libyan regime is near and Gaddafi must relinquish power to avoid further bloodshed.
"We seem to be witnessing the end of the Gaddafi regime," the spokesperson said.
"Gaddafi has to relinquish power now and avoid further bloodshed," he added.
Mann noted that Libya is at the beginning of a long process of transition and the EU would continue supporting reforms designed to lead to democracy in the North African state.