Tripoli remains a war zone as NATO bombs Muammar Qaddafi’s compound all night and helps rebels reach Tripoli to fight, but international journalists says rebels are targeting them.
The sudden appearance of Qaddafi’s son exposed the inaccuracy of rebel claims, but there is no doubt that the capital is caught in an end-game war between loyalists to the regime and rebels.
A journalist for the Russian RT news service, stationed in a central Tripoli hotel, reported while shooting was heard in the background.
He said rebels “are specifically targeting the areas where international journalists are, to sow panic here." A video of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, one of the dictator’s sons, proved that he is alive and well as loyalists triumphantly carried him on their shoulders.
“I am here to disperse the rumors,” the young Qaddafi was quoted by Reuters as saying. “This is a war of technology and electronics to cause chaos and terror in Libya. They also brought in armed gangs by sea and by road.”
The RT reporter said, “NATO has done all the heavy work. This is a NATO war. They heavily bombed cities west of [Tripoli]; they’ve bombed all night, without even 10 seconds of stopping. They have bombed this entire city and NATO landed the insurgents on the coast of Tripoli.”
Part of the hotel staff tote guns they used to fight before coming to work.” The targeting of the hotel by rebels may indicate that the hotel workers are supporters of Qaddafi.
While loyalists to Qaddafi continue to fight against what appears to be certain victory for NATO-backed rebels, the insurgents are keeping their eye open for signs of Qaddafi, whom they want to capture alive and bring to trial. His whereabouts are not known. If he is still in the country, he may have used underground tunnels to escape Tripoli and reach his home village, where he has strong support – and a large stockpile of weapons.