Celebration in Tripoli, Gadhafi's Sons Arrested... Is Libya Finally Free?

After months of fighting, it looks as though Gadhafi's reign in Libya is coming to an end:

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power dissolved with astonishing speed on Monday as rebels marched into the capital and arrested two of his sons, while residents raucously celebrated the prospective end of his four-decade-old rule. Colonel Qaddafi’s precise whereabouts remained unknown and news reports said loyalist forces still held pockets of the city, stubbornly resisting the rebel advance. [...]

Overnight, in Tripoli’s central Green Square, the site of many manufactured rallies in support of Colonel Qaddafi, jubilant Libyans tore down posters of him and stomped on them. The rebel leadership announced that the elite presidential guard protecting the Libyan leader had surrendered and that their forces controlled many parts of the city, but not Colonel Qaddafi’s leadership compound.

The National Transitional Council issued a mass text message saying: “We congratulate the Libyan people for the fall of Muammar Qaddafi and call on the Libyan people to go into the street to protect the public property. Long live free Libya.”


The New York Times reports that mortars and shelling could be heard Monday morning, and that Gadhafi's forces still occupied 20 percent of Tripoli. Even still, across the West, world leaders called for him to step down. President Obama called him a "tyrant" whose regime had "reached a tipping point." NATO Forces promised to continue air-patrolling Libya until it was certain Gadhafi's regime was ousted. 

Mohamed, Gadhafi's eldest son who was captured by rebels yesterday, told Al-Jazeera that he was "saddened" by the fighting. "What's happening in Libya is very upsetting. The killing between brothers, between Muslims, is something that saddens me," he said. Meanwhile, the search for his father continues. Keep Al Jazeeralocked for updates.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at August 22, 2011, 4:15am

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