Gaddafi tells Benghazi his army is coming tonight

TRIPOLI Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:53pm EDT

EDITOR'S NOTE: PICTURE TAKEN ON GUIDED GOVERNMENT TOUR Libyan government soldiers pose for the camera at the west gate of town Ajdabiyah March 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

EDITOR'S NOTE: PICTURE TAKEN ON GUIDED GOVERNMENT TOUR Libyan government soldiers pose for the camera at the west gate of town Ajdabiyah March 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi told Libyan rebels on Thursday his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy to fighters who resisted them.

In a radio address, he told Benghazi residents that soldiers would search every house in the city and people who had no arms had no reason to fear.

"It's over ... We are coming tonight," he said. "You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets."

The speech was broadcast on radio and television shortly after a defense ministry statement warned that any foreign military action would trigger counter-attacks and endanger all air and sea traffic in the Mediterranean region.

In Benghazi, live footage on Al Jazeera television showed hundreds of defiant Libyan rebels gathered in the central square waving the tricolor flag of the monarchy era in a rally after Gaddafi's speech was broadcast.

In the speech, the Libyan leader denounced the rebels and said: "We will show no mercy and no pity to them."

He also told his troops not to pursue any rebels who drop their guns and flee when government forces reach the city.

It was not clear whether any government attack would actually follow the short speech.

Tripoli has been trying to put psychological pressure on the rebel capital by warning residents to avoid rebel installations and reporting pro-Gaddafi rallies there that residents say never took place.

Rebels have scoffed at the reports, saying they proved the Libyan army was not strong enough to attack.

Gaddafi's speech came only hours before the United Nations Security Council was due to vote on a resolution on imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.

(Reporting by Souhail Karam, writing by Tom Heneghan; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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Comments (3)
Jerdina wrote:
To all the countries in the U.N. that dragged their feet, history and the rest of humanity will never forget.

Mar 17, 2011 3:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oligarchy wrote:
If there were a similar uprising in the U.S. to change governments would the they use force, you bet. Would they want someone else getting involved, of course not. You say, but they have a ruthless dictator and the U.S. doesn’t. Not true, U.S. policy is dictated by corporations and elites, the ones who control the money. Because in the U.S. you don’t get elected without backing from them.

Mar 17, 2011 4:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Discovery451 wrote:
That dumb a** blowing his mouth off as the UN is getting ready to vote. If the UN authorizes the use of force tonight, Gaddafi’s forces will be blown to bits within a few days with NATO air power. Jets will drop guided bombs, and attack helicopters will obliterate his armor with guided missiles. Such weapons are incredibly destructive. Google ‘Javelin Missile in action’ and watch the tank test video. Air power rules in the open desert, unless your enemy has sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles. Even they are now vulnerable to rocket boosted GPS guided bombs, that can fly many miles to their target. The victims of Pan Am 103 may finally get their revenge, if he, and his sons, are tried as war criminals and executed for crimes against humanity.

Mar 17, 2011 6:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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