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Libya teeters on the brink

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Libya teeters on the brink


Latest amateur pictures from Tripoli and Benghazi show how the east of Libya is in uproar as its leader Colonel Gadaffi appears to be losing his grip on power.

The revolt against him seems to be gaining strength by the hour, but it is still unclear if the people will prevail. Fighting has spread to the capital Tripoli, and Human Rights Watch now estimates the numbers of people killed to be as many as 400, although heavy rain this morning is keeping things calmer.

A group of army officers has called on soldiers to side with the people, but there is little sign of the crisis on Libyan TV. Entertainment shows continue, carrying captions telling people not to believe foreign media reports of massacres, and saying it is time to protect Libya from its enemies, exorting people to care about “God, Gadaffi, and Libya”, in that order.

Last night Gaddafi made his first declaration on the events, for 22 seconds on TV to prove, he said, he was still in the country and had not fled to Venezuela. It was hardly a formal appearance, as he spoke from the doorway of what looked like a golf cart, brandishing a white umbrella.

Gadaffi may insist he is going nowhere, but two reportedly senior pilots have flown their planes to Malta, claiming they refused orders to bomb dissidents in Benghazi.

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