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Libyan leader says he won't step down

posted 22 Feb 2011, 09:30 by Mpelembe   [ updated 22 Feb 2011, 10:32 ]

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says he will not step down despite a nationwide revolt against his rule, vowing to die in Libya as a martyr while threatening to quash protesters.

TRIPOLI, LIBYA (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (FEBRUARY 22, 2011) LIBYAN STATE TV - 
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Tuesday (February 22) he would not step down despite a nationwide revolt against his rule, vowing to die in Libya as a martyr while threatening to quash protests.



Facing the greatest challenge to his 41-year rule and losing control of parts of the country, Gaddafi called protesters "rats and mercenaries" who wanted to turn Libya into an Islamic state.

"Muammar al Gaddafi is not occupying a position to resign from the same way other presidents did, Gaddafi is not a president. He is a leader of a revolution," Gaddafi said in a defiant speech on state television.

Libya's security forces have cracked down fiercely on demonstrations across the country, with fighting spreading to Tripoli from Libya's oil-producing east in a reaction to decades of repression.

It was a fiery but rambling address, made in front of his home once bombed by United States' warplanes in 1986,

"When this place was bombed, here at my home, and my children were fighting them, where were you rats? Where were you men with beards? Where were you? You were with America. You were clapping for your American masters, when Gaddafi and his family were here at this place bombed by America," he said.

Reading from his 'Green Book' Gaddafi said that under Libyan law the protesters deserve the death sentence.

"The Libyan Penal code before the revolution says, each Libyan who uses weapons against Libya is sentenced to death," Gaddafi said.

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