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Libya Live: Rebels Take Full Command Of Compound

Staff Reporters |
August 22, 2011 | 12:03 a.m. PDT
UPDATED: 10:30 a.m. PDT, August 23
Gaddafi's compound fully in the hands of opposition fighters and country will be liberated within 72 hours, says Libyan U.N. envoy Ibrahim Dabbashi in Reuters report.
UPDATED: 8 a.m. PDT, August 23
Libyan rebels have entered Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli, according to reports from Al Jazeera.
It remained unclear Tuesday morning whether Gaddafi was actually within the compound. The reports stated that rebels had entered the compound "at least through one gate."
UPDATED: 2:15 p.m. PDT, August 22
Google has changed the name of Tripoli's central square from "Green Square" to "Martyrs' Square" on its popular Google Maps service, the name rebel leaders and supporters have been calling it since rebels entered the city over the weekend.
The online giant recently made its Maps feature updatable by users, one of which made the change Sunday night. Google has since approved the update, but the square in Tripoli can be found by searching either name.
UPDATED: 1:15 p.m. PDT, August 22
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he will orchestrate a meeting of regional and international organizational leaders about the ongoing situation in Libya.
Among those expected to attend, according to the U.N., are members from the Arab League, the African Union and the European Union. There is no inidication yet of any American envoy to the meeting.
Officials say the meeting may happen on Friday at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Ban Ki-Moon also said his special envoy for Libya, Abdel Elah al-Khatib, former Jordanian foreign minister, will travel to Doha, Qatar this week to meet with the National Transitional Council.

UPDATED: 11:30 a.m. PDT, August 22

President Barack Obama spoke Monday from Martha's Vineyard on the fall of Tripoli.

"This much is clear," he said. "The Gaddafi regime is coming to an end," and the region's fate is in the hands of its citizens.

He emphasized that the fighting is not over and called on Gaddafi to relinquish power. He also called for the formation of a just leadership in which the rights of all Libyans are respected and promised U.S. support in partnership with the international community.

He pointed out the U.S.'s role in supporting the Libya insurrection, stating that it end of the Gaddafi regime came without any U.S. soldiers on the ground. "In the early days of this conflict, the U.S. provided the bulk of the firepower," he said.

UPDATED: 10:45 a.m. PDT, August 22

Al Jazeera is reporting that "Mohammad Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader has escaped from custody after being captured by opposition fighters yesterday" aided by "Gaddafi loyalists."

UPDATED: 10:20 a.m. PDT, August 22

The National Transitional Council's Mustafa Abdel Jalil speaks at a press conference:

UPDATED: 8:30 a.m. PDT, August 22

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says the UN will be ready to extend assistance to the Libyan people during transistion.

UPDATED: 7:45 a.m. PDT, August 22

On the second day of fighting in Tripoli, the rebels say they control 95 percent of the capital and the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime seems all but certain. Sporadic fighting continues across the capital as rebels encounter pockets of resistance and fire from snipers, especially near Mummar Gaddafi's compound. 

Some countries in the region are cheering the end of Gaddafi's rule. The rebel flag is now flying over the Libyan embassy in Algeria and Egypt has released a statement recognizing the rebel government.

Muammar Gaddafi's whereabouts are still unknown, though his voice was broadcast across Libya Sunday night. There are rumors, all unconfirmed, that he has fled to Algeria. 

From Al-Jazeera:

Fighting and gun battles erupted in parts of Tripoli on Monday after tanks left Bab al-Azizyah, Muammar Gaddafi's compound, to confront the rebel assault that gained control of much of the capital in a battle overnight.

Many of the streets in the centre of the city - where anti-government supporters had celebrated hours earlier - were abandoned as pockets of pro-Gaddafi resistance and the presence of snipers and artillery fire made the area dangerous.

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, who advanced into the city with rebel fighters overnight, said the security situation in the city was "tenuous," despite there being celebrations in the streets.

"There are some Gaddafi forces still putting up a fight," our correspondent said.

--

Three of his sons detained by insurgents and his capital destroyed by airstrikes, Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi held onto a few scraps of power as Monday dawned.

President Barack Obama said Sunday night that the momentum in the uprising in Libya, which kicked off more than six months ago, had reached a "tipping point." Rebels, led by mountain fighters from the west, had taken over all but pockets of Tripoli, the nation's capitol.

As Gaddafi's close aides reportedly worked out their safe exits from government and the strength of his army dwindled, Gaddafi's next move remained in doubt. Al Jazeera reported Monday morning the Gaddafi tanks emerged even as rebels rejoiced elsewhere in the city.

Strong communication with NATO forces as well as on-the-ground technical training and tools from NATO sparked the resurgence for rebel troops, who suffered many setbacks in recent months. Now with Gaddafi handed his largest setbacks in the battle, the question is how long will he fight it out?



 

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