Libya’s Leader Urges Supporters to Take On Rebels

Posted July 16th, 2011 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has urged his supporters to march to the rebel-held city of Benghazi and the oil port of Brega.

His comments were carried on Libyan state television Saturday in what was described as an address to supporters in the western city of Ziwiyah.

Meanwhile, rebels said Saturday that landmines and shelling by pro-government forces had slowed their efforts to advance into Brega.

Medical workers and rebels say at least 10 rebel fighters have been killed since the opposition fighters launched their attempt to take control of the eastern town on Friday.

The rebels' setback in Brega comes a day after government opponents received a diplomatic boost at a meeting of the International Contact Group in Turkey.

The 30 countries attending the meeting announced their recognition of Libya's opposition Transitional National Council as the legitimate authority of the North African nation. The U.S. was among the nations that formally recognized the group, although several world powers had already granted recognition.

The move will allow the U.S. and its allies to help fund the rebels with part of the Libyan assets they have seized over the last several months, including more than $30 billion frozen in American banks.

Mr. Gadhafi dismissed the significance of the diplomatic recognition in an audio speech broadcast to thousands of supporters in the town Zlitan. He urged supporters to “trample” on those “worthless” recognitions.