CAIRO Muammar Gaddafi blamed a revolt against his rule on al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Thursday and said protesters were fueled by milk and Nescafe spiked with hallucinogenic drugs, in a rambling appeal for calm.
Following are reactions from Libyans who said the speech could herald the end of his rule.
SERAJ BENSIRITI, 25, UNEMPLOYED, BENGHAZI PROTESTER
"He is trying to divide us, but we are one nation. After 42 years of slavery, this is over. The bloodbath must end."
SAID EL-GAREENY, 35, ENGINEER, BENGHAZI PROTESTER
"This is the speech of a dead man. People always warn about al Qaeda and say this will become an Islamic state ... to get support from Western countries. This isn't true. The Libyan people are free. That's it."
TRIPOLI RESIDENT, WHO DID NOT WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED
"It seems like he realized that his speech yesterday with the strong language had no effect on the people. He's realizing it's going to be a matter of time before the final chapter: the battle of Tripoli."
PROTESTERS IN BENGHAZI
Protesters take turns to stomp on photo of Gaddafi put on the ground.
BURASHI ON TWITTER
"Gaddafi's speech seemed more subdued and less threatening this time. Let's hope it means he is on his way out."
IYAD ELBAGHDADI ON TWITTER
"Gaddafi is going through the phases of depression. Went from denial to anger to bargaining. Next speech will be depression."
(Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz in Benghazi and Christian Lowe in Algiers; Writing by Dina Zayed in Cairo, editing by Peter Millership)