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Defiant Gadhafi Vows Not to Surrender

Sunday, 21 Aug 2011 09:02 PM

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Moammar Gadhafi vowed not to surrender late Sunday night, even as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said his regime was crumbling and the U.K. predicted "the end was near" for the 69-year-old leader, who has kept a tight grip on power in his oil-rich North African nation for almost 42 years.

As the rebels boasted they would take full control of Tripoli during the night, Gadhafi issued his third message of the day, urging the people of Tripoli to "purge the capital."

Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told a press conference that 1,300 people have been killed in the rebel assault on the capital, describing the fighting as a "real tragedy."

There was no independent confirmation of the casualty toll, nor any immediate indication of how much resistance may have been put up against the rebels' entry into the capital.

Ibrahim insisted that Libya's regime "is still strong and thousands of volunteers and soldiers are ready to fight," although the reality on the ground seemed to belie his boasts.

In The Hague, the International Criminal Court's prosecutor confirmed that Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam, for whom the ICC had issued arrest warrants for crimes against humanity, is in detention.

"I have received confidential information stating he has been arrested," Luis Moreno-Ocampo said.

"We hope he can soon be in the Hague" to face justice, he said, adding that he planned to contact the "Libyan transitional government" later in the day.

Moreno-Ocampo said the ICC "is ready to help Libyans to deal with their difficult past" and ensure that "no crime remains unpunished."

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