Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi pledged “martyrdom or victory” after rebels captured his compound in the capital, media reports said Wednesday.
A Tripoli radio station quoted Mr. Qadhafi as saying he abandoned the Bab al-Azizya compound in Tripoli as a “tactical move after the compound was levelled by 64 NATO airstrikes,” broadcaster Al Jazeera reported.
Libyan rebels captured Mr. Qadhafi’s home on Tuesday after days of fighting in Tripoli.
Footage showed rebels standing in the home of Mr. Qadhafi where he used to stand while giving his speeches. They were seen destroying a statue of Mr. Qadhafi and kicking the head.
Qadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said loyalists were ready to resist for months and even years. In a telephone interview with Al-Orouba and al-Ra television stations, he said Mr. Qadhafi was ready to turn the North African country into “volcanoes, lava and fire.” The whereabouts of Mr. Qadhafi, who has ruled Libya since 1969, were unknown.
A spokesman for the rebel Transitional National Council said Mr. Qadhafi would first have to stand trial in Libya before he could be transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which indicted him for war crimes in May. Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said in an interview with Egyptian state television that there was no chance the rebels would let him escape.
Fighting was reportedly continuing across the capital on Wednesday.