Tripoli on Fire, Western Leaders Urge Gaddafi to Step Down

World | August 21, 2011, Sunday // 19:46|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US White House have called Sunday embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to immediately and peacefully step down.

This comes after Libya's capital and Gaddafi stronghold Tripoli has come under an unprecedented attack by both rebel forces and NATO.

NATO has bombed Sunday afternoon the Gaddafi compound in Tripoli, as rebel forces are said to attempt overtaking the city by land and sea.

A spokesperson of the rebel National Transitional Council had earlier announced that a "Mermaid Dawn" operation, which is being carried out jointly by the Council, anti-Gaddafi forces in Tripoli, and NATO.

As part of the operation, rebel forces have reportedly landed in Tripoli from rebel-held city of Misrata, 130 km west of the capital.

In a statement Sunday Chancellor Merkel said that it would be better if Gaddafi give up immediately.

At the same time, White House spokesperson said Muammar Gaddafi's days "are counted."

Earlier Sunday Gaddafi made an audio address to the nation, urging them to fight back upsurgents and vowing no intention to give up.

A spokesperson of the Gaddafi government has announced that the regime has no intention of stepping down.

"We have professional soldiers and thousands of volunteers amply defending our capital against this international plot," said the government source.

Information about the success of the two sides in the battle for Libyan capital Tripoli is still controversial.

At least 100 people are reported to have died as a result of the fighting, which has continued since overnight.

The NTC representative has stated the Council would welcome a peaceful withdrawal of the Libyan leader by his own choice.

Rebels are now said to be in control of several Tripoli neighborhoods, some of them close to Bab Al Aziziya, the location of Muammar Gaddafi's compound.

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Tags: Muammar Gaddafi, Tripoli, Libya, National Transitional Council, NATO, Gaddafi, rebels, US, German, White House, Angela Merkel


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