Gaddafi warns of de­ci­sive battle in Libya

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

LIBYAN strong­man Muam­mar Gaddafi says his forces are poised to fight a ‘‘ de­ci­sive battle’’, as diplo­mats back­ing a no-fly zone to rein him in pressed for a vote at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

Gaddafi’s lat­est com­ments came af­ter his forces pressed rebels in the west on Wed­nes­day and threat­ened their east­ern bas­tion of Benghazi, de­spite calls from UN chief Ban Ki-moon for an im­me­di­ate cease­fire.

‘‘ The battle starts to­day ( Wed­nes­day) at Mis­rata and to­mor­row, that will be the de­ci­sive battle,’’ Gaddafi said, re­fer­ring to the coun­try’s third city which has a pop­u­la­tion of half a mil­lion.

‘‘ From this evening, you are go­ing to be called to take up arms and to­mor-row you will take part in the battle, ’’ he added, ad­dress­ing a group of young peo­ple from Mis­rata, the re­port said.

Gaddafi urged his au­di­ence ‘‘ not to leave Mis­rata hostage in the hands of a hand­ful of madmen’’.

On Tues­day, Libyan state tele­vi­sion said the army would soon move against Benghazi, and on Wed­nes­day, Gaddafi’s son Seif alIs­lam pre­dicted that ev­ery­thing would be over in 48 hours.

A rebel spokesman in Mis­rata, which lies 150km from the cap­i­tal Tripoli, said on Wed­nes­day t hey had beaten back an at­tack by loyalist forces on the city, but four peo­ple had been killed and 10 wounded. In Zin­tan mean­while, the first west­ern town to go over to the op­po­si­tion, a wit­ness said ‘‘ things were start­ing’’ there.

Gaddafi

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