Video: Gadhafi losing grip on Libya

  1. Closed captioning of: Gadhafi losing grip on Libya

    >> now to the revolt against moammar gadhafi 's reign in libya . the state department is set to evacuate american citizens as the violent unrest there spreads. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in libya . good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning. i am now in a part of eastern libya that's completely controlled by demonstrators. opposition groups tell us they have control of about a third of libya but gaddafi says he'll never give up power. as soon as we entered libya it was clear colonel moammar gadhafi is no longer in control of much of the country. our car was immediately surrounded by protesters. they were armed and december separate to speak. [ speaking in a foreign language ]

    >> reporter: our children are dying, this man said. there are checkpoints on nearly every corner. we just crossed into libya from egypt. there is no presence of the libyan government here anymore. at the border crossing there was no one there to stamp us into the country. now the tribes are in control of the area. we were driven by the protesters for more than a hundred miles through libya . we didn't see a single moammar gadhafi loyalist. we saw military barracks , empty and burned. a protest was under way in torbruk. the protesters shouted " libya must be free" and fired in the air. even climbed on our car saying moammar gadhafi used these bullets to kill civilians. at the main army headquarters army officers were still armed and in uniform, now in open rebellion. they broke into tears. the people and the army hand in hand . there are reports of military defections like this nationwide.

    >> we are behind the people.

    >> reporter: this is not an egyptian-style protest movement. this is a war for libya . the military bases have been emptied. they are taking the weapons including machine guns, rocket launchers and they say now the people and military are together. the soldiers and civilians found an old newspaper with moammar gadhafi 's picture and spit on it in disgust and burned it. there is heavy fighting in tripoli where in a national address moammar gadhafi said he would die a martyr. [ speaking in a foreign language ]

    >> reporter: the libyan leader called on his supporters to attack and kill demonstrators, hunting them down house to house. it is a call for civil war as libya 's leader of 41 years clings to power. the u.s. state department says it will start evacuating americans by ferry today and bringing them to malta. ma willie, back to you.

    >> we know he's been erratic at times but i understand there are questions about his mental health . what are you hearing there?

    >> reporter: people here think he's lost whatever sanity he had left and that worries them. they think he's desperate, no longer in control of his faculties and this desperate, almost insane man is willing to do almost anything to cling to

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Timeline: Recent Middle East unrest


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