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Fierce fighting as rebels storm Gaddafi compound

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 01:44

Aug. 23 - Libyan rebels storm the fortified Tripoli compound at the seat of Muammar Gaddafi's political power and the principal base of loyalist fighters trying to rescue his 42-year-old rule. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Triumphant rebels seized Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli on Tuesday (August 23) after a fierce battle with a loyalist rearguard but there was no word on the fate of the Libyan leader who vowed again to fight "to the end". Reuters journalists watched rebel fighters stream through the sprawling Bab al-Aziziya headquarters compound, firing in the air in celebration after hours of heavy clashes. But it was unclear whether the "Brother Leader" or his sons were still somewhere in the complex's maze of buildings and bunkers. Defensive fire died away and hundreds of jubilant rebels poured in. Some smashed a statue of Gaddafi. Others hunted through dozens of buildings, unchallenged, seizing weaponry and vehicles. The rebels' envoy to the United Nations said the area was "totally in the hands of the revolutionaries". NATO, which declined to confirm reports that its air forces bombed Gaddafi's compound to aid the rebels, said Gaddafi's whereabouts were unclear but no longer a major concern. Western governments, which have backed disparate opposition groups, also said they could not be sure where the 69-year-old leader was but urged him to surrender after six months of civil war which have put an end to his four decades of absolute power.

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Fierce fighting as rebels storm Gaddafi compound

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 01:44