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Updated: February 25, 2011 03:35 IST

Osama behind uprising: Qadhafi

Atul Aneja
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Libyan gunmen flash the victory signs as they stand on a military truck with an anti-aircraft machine gun at Al-Katiba military base after it fell to anti-Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi protesters few days ago, in Benghazion Thursday.
AP
Libyan gunmen flash the victory signs as they stand on a military truck with an anti-aircraft machine gun at Al-Katiba military base after it fell to anti-Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi protesters few days ago, in Benghazion Thursday.

State forces unleash violence in towns around Tripoli

Forces loyal to the embattled Libyan President, Muammar Qadhafi, are using ruthless force to establish control within a radius of 250 km around Tripoli in a bid to stall the advance of the opposition, which is steadily closing in on the Libyan capital.

Mr. Qaddafi's loyalists have launched a counterattack, deploying heavy weapons, to dislodge the opposition at Zawiya, around 48 km west of the capital. An eyewitness told Al Jazeera television that around 30 cars full of soldiers surrounded the city's “martyrs square” where around a thousand protesters had assembled. According to this account, which could not be corroborated independently because of the media blackout imposed by the regime, the firing continued for around five hours, leading to heavy casualties.

In a phone call later from Zawiya, relayed over state television, Mr. Qadhafi attributed the protests to Osama bin Laden and his followers. He said that intake of drugs and alcohol had led the youth to embark upon “destruction and sabotage” in the country.

In the town of Sabratha, around 80 km to the west of Tripoli, troops were out in force to quell the rebellion. The protesters had torched many buildings, including police stations and structures once occupied by the “revolutionary committees” loyal to Mr. Qadhafi. The town was under lockdown, with shops shuttered and people hunkered down indoors.

However, despite the unbridled force used to keep the corridor west of Tripoli free of the opposition, protesters on Thursday had managed to breach the town of Zuara, around 120 km west of Tripoli.

Protesters were also preparing for anti-regime demonstrations on Friday.

Government forces tried to stall the opposition in the east, with much lesser success. Clashes have been reported around 200 km east of Tripoli near the city of Misurata, over which the protesters' advance has apparently prevailed. By Thursday, anti-regime forces had occupied the eastern Mediterranean coastline from Benghazi to the Ras Lunaf port, not far from Surt, Mr. Qadhafi's hometown.

Analysts say Mr. Qadhafi has relied heavily on African mercenaries and handpicked troops loyal to him in his counterattack. The Khamis brigade under the command of the President's son, Khamis Abu Minyar al-Qaddafi, has been assigned the role of the praetorian guard in defence of the regime.

Guerrillas

The Qaddafi government is known to have funded guerrillas based in Darfur, from where they had launched anti-government attacks in neighbouring Chad. Many of these guerrillas were free for deployment inside Libya after tensions between Chad and Sudan had eased.

In an attempt on political consolidation in the east, tribal leaders on Thursday met in Bayda. A former Justice Minister, who had resigned, at the meeting called upon “the world community to protect the Libyan people”. He warned the President could even go to the extent of using biological weapons against his people.

Lt.Col. Omar Hamza, head of an air defence brigade who has defected, said in the east a single operations room had been established to direct the advance towards Tripoli.

Meanwhile, adding momentum to the string of defections, Mr. Qadhafi's cousin and foreign affairs spokesman, Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, has defected to Egypt in protest.

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Aditya, I agree with you. Most people believe everything they see on TV or read in/on the news without really thinking intelligently. Most of the Arab world's leaders who are all painted with the paintbrush of corrupt are fully supported by the the West and had a pro-West stance. Gaddafi is one of the few who has actually had the courage to stand up to them, and the West would love to see him out of power so that they can install some puppet and steal even more oil and other resources(Iraq and Afghanistan is not enough). On the continent of Africa itself, he is also one of the few leaders who've sought to unite Africa, aiming to have a United States of Africa, while the West has sought to further divide it. It would not surprise me whatsoever if we find out 20 years from now that CIA, MI-5 etc, were behind it.

from:  Mazahirkosh
Posted on: Feb 26, 2011 at 03:31 IST

We can paint different uprisings in different countries with the same brush. The Mubarak regime was pro U.S. Whereas not the same case with Libya. Even CIA could be behind the Libyan uprisings to overthrow Gaddafi rule and appoint a friendly regime under the name of democracy.

from:  Aditya Ram
Posted on: Feb 25, 2011 at 09:11 IST

Osama cannot be behind pro-democracy movement in Libya. The unrest is the result of Qadhafi's totalitarian regime. Universal rights are suppressed by Qadhafi in Libya.

from:  Ramprasad
Posted on: Feb 25, 2011 at 08:53 IST
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