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Rebels deride Gaddafi TV appearance

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Rebels deride Gaddafi TV appearance


With international reporters restricted in their movements in Tripoli, there appears to have been a mixed reaction to Muammar Gaddafi typically defiant speech.

Making his first television appearance since the start of the Western-led bombing campaign, he pledged victory and condemned the coalition as fascists.

Some western reporters say many people are too afraid to speak openly in the Libyan capital for fear of being arrested or detained. Others, however, are willing to support Gaddafi, describing his appearance as reassuring.

Tripoli resident Tareq Mansour said: “He came out last night and told us that we should not be scared. In terms of our leader, he is not only the head of government or someone elected but he is the leader of our revolution”

The event was followed by fireworks in the Libyan capital. The sentiments expressed in Tripoli were not shared in the eastern rebel held city of Tobruk.

“When Gaddafi spoke a guy smashed the screen. Most young people watch Libyan TV to get a good laugh. It’s a joke,” said Adam al-Mansouri.

Although Adam and his father do not believe what they see, it remains unclear how much effect Gaddafi’s state TV is having on the wider population.

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