Video: Gadhafi downplays violence as fight closes in

  1. Closed captioning of: Gadhafi downplays violence as fight closes in

    >>> good evening. while the whole world watches, it apparently now has come down to this, moammar gadhafi is holding on to control of his strong hold of tripoli but he's lost control of large parts of his country, mostly in the east with fresh fighting breaking out around the clock and around tripoli . tonight there's reason to believe he's highly rattled by the fighting, the uprising. he gave a speech today that was hard to follow and make sense of, even by his standards, and as he spoke, more of his territory was changing hands. we begin tonight again inside libya with our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel , who's in the city of benghazi tonight. richard, good evening.

    >> reporter: good evening, brian from benghazi . this is the unofficial capital of the rebel movement . lawyers and judges are administering the city. there's even now a radio station here called free libya , and the rebels say tripoli is next. the fighting is closing in on tripoli . rebels and ruthless mercenaries hired by gadhafi are battling for control of villages less than 100 miles from the capital.

    >> the streets were being blocked off by sandbags, by blocks, by bricks, by anything that people could use to try to prevent any pro-regime forces from entering into the streets.

    >> reporter: in the town today, 40 miles west of tripoli , at least ten people were reportedly killed in fighting. but some of the worst violence has been here in benghazi , where hospitals are filled with wounded.

    >> there is more than 300, more than 300 in benghazi and injured more than 3,000.

    >> reporter: doctors say the victims were shot with bullets and anti-aircraft rounds. many were executed at close range. [ speaking foreign language ]

    >> reporter: but today colonel moammar gadhafi downplayed the violence and offered a radically different explanation in a bizarre and revealing radio address. we were in a car as he spoke. his words were slurred. he mumbled, with long pauses. i've listened to speeches in arabic of middle east leaders for 15 years. this did not sound like the same person. gadhafi is speaking now on state radio . it's very difficult to follow. he's all over the place. he's already mentioned the kurds in northern iraq , the unabomber indyia, and saying the people carrying out this revolt are taking drugs that make them insane. in the address gadhafi claimed al qaeda is behind the revolt. osama bin laden is slipping libyans hallucinogenic pills in coffee with milk and the pills are distributed in mosques with help from the united states . a u.s. official today described gadhafi as, quote, nuts. his family members also seem wildly out of touch. gadhafi 's son, saif, appeared on television to claim tripoli is safe and secure. but rebels say gadhafi is holding libya hostage. u.s. officials say the dictator is armed with chemical weapons and has a sovereign fund of $32 billion, more than enough to buy mercenaries and loyalists. thousands of foreigners are still trying to escape the fighting and get away from libya 's apparently irrational leader.

    >> it's just been constant. constant shooting.

    >> reporter: a british warship evacuated its nationals from the port in benghazi , but the airport in tripoli remains crowded and chaotic, full of people desperate to leave, afraid of what gadhafi might do. benghazi , brian, is firmly under rebel control, and the rebels here tell us they believe they have enough force, enough momentum to push out gadhafi in a matter of days.

    >> richard engel from benghazi in libya tonight. richard, thanks. you

msnbc.com news services
updated 2/24/2011 7:17:28 PM ET 2011-02-25T00:17:28

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday blamed the uprising in his country on al-Qaida followers who give young Libyans hallucinogenic pills in their coffee to get them to revolt.

In a rambling phone call to Libyan state TV, Gadhafi said those revolting are "loyal to bin Laden ... This is al-Qaida that the whole world is fighting." Al-Qaida militants are "exploiting" teenagers, giving them "hallucinogenic pills in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe," the embattled leader said.

  1. Top stories: Turmoil in the Middle East
    1. UN: Gadhafi's food stocks to last just weeks
    2. S. African president: Gadhafi ready for truce
    3. Libyan rebels distribute rules on POW treatment
    4. Armed residents put up resistance to Syrian army
    5. Libyan rebels distribute rules on POW treatment

Referring to violent clashes in Zawiya, which lies about 30 miles from the capital Tripoli, Gadhafi said the unrest in that town is a "farce. ... Sane men don't enter such a farce." He called on citizens to "leave the country calm."

'I only have moral authority'
Gadhafi urged Libyans to take weapons away from protesters who have assumed control of large parts of the country.

"The constitution is very clear: take the weapons from them," Gadhafi said. "I only have moral authority," said the leader, who has traditionally sought to present himself as a leader of a revolution that is led by the people, rather than a traditional executive head of state.

Army units and foreign mercenaries loyal to Gadhafi struck back against rebellious Libyans who have risen up in cities close to the capital, attacking the Zawiya mosque where many were holding an anti-government sit-in and battling with others who had seized control of an airport. At least 23 died at the mosque.

Interactive: Libya uprising: The latest (on this page)

The assaults aimed to push back a revolt that has moved closer to Gadhafi's bastion in the capital, Tripoli. The uprising already has broken away most of the eastern half of Libya and unraveled parts of Gadhafi's regime.

In the latest blow to the Libyan leader, a cousin who is one of his closest aides, Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, announced that he has defected to Egypt in protest against the regime's bloody crackdown against the uprising, denouncing what he called "grave violations to human rights and human and international laws."

    1. Castaway's parents thought they would never see him again

      The father of Pacific castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga said he was told his long-lost son vanished on a fishing trip but he didn’t have the heart to break the news to his ailing wife.

    2. Scotland legalizes same-sex marriage
    3. Weapons deal strengthened Assad: US intel chief
    4. Outcry over the fate of Sochi's stray dogs
    5. Olympic construction leaves Sochi residents in the cold

Mosque attacked
In Zawiya, an army unit attacked the city's Souq Mosque, where regime opponents had been camped for days in a protest calling for Gadhafi's ouster, a witness said. The soldiers opened fire with automatic weapons and hit the mosque's minaret with fire from an anti-aircraft gun, he said. Some of the young men among the protesters, who were inside the mosque and in a nearby lot, had hunting rifles for protection.

A doctor at a field clinic set up at the mosque said he saw the bodies of 10 dead, shot in the head and chest, as well as around 150 wounded.

A witness said that a day earlier an envoy from Gadhafi had come to the city and warned protesters, "Either leave or you will see a massacre." Zawiya is a key city near an oil port and refineries.

Al-Jazeera television broadcast pictures on Thursday of what it said was a burning police station in Zawiya.

The brief, grainy images of Zawiya were followed by footage of around 20 bodies, most with their hands tied behind their backs. The satellite station said the men had been killed for refusing to shoot protesters.

Battle in Misrata
In Misrata, pro-Gadhafi militiamen — a mix of Libyans and foreign mercenaries — assaulted a small airport outside Libya's third largest city, about 120 miles from the capital.

Militiamen with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars barraged a line of government opponents who were guarding the airport, some armed with rifles, said one of the rebels who was involved in the battle.

During the fighting, the airport's defenders seized an anti-aircraft gun used by the militias and turned it against them, he said.

At the same time, officers from an air force school near the airport mutinied and, along with residents, overwhelmed an adjacent military air base where Gadhafi loyalists were holed up, a medical official at the base said. The air force personnel disabled fighter jets at the base to prevent them from being used against the uprising, he said.

The medical official said five people were killed in the fighting at the airport — four from the opposition camp and one from the attackers — and 40 were wounded.

"Now Misrata is totally under control of the people, but we are worried because we are squeezed between Sirte and Tripoli, which are strongholds of Gadhafi," he said.

The uprising has virtually wiped out Libya's oil exports, said the head of Italy's ENI, Libya's biggest foreign oil operator. The unrest has driven world oil prices up to around $120 a barrel, stoking concern about the economic recovery.

Oil traders cited a rumor Thursday that Gadhafi was dead for pushing oil prices down. The U.S. government said it has no reason to believe the rumor was true.

Story: Oil price spike threatens global recovery

World reaction
World leaders condemned Gadhafi's bloody crackdown on the week-long revolt that has split Libya, but did little to halt the bloodshed from the latest upheaval reshaping the Arab world.

President Barack Obama spoke Thursday with with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy to continue consultations and coordinate responses to Libyan developments, the White House said in a statement reported by NBC News. The leaders want to ensure appropriate accountability.

They agreed to maintain close consultations and affirmed support for the universal rights of the Libyan people, including the right to peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny, the White House said.

Earlier, the White House said it would not rule anything out in its response to the Libyan government's crackdown.

"I'm not ruling out bilateral options,'' White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters when asked whether the United States was considering military options. "I'm not ruling anything out.'" He said the situation in the North African oil-producing nation "demands quick action."

The U.S. also said on Thursday it supported expelling Libya from the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying the government had violated the rights of its people in trying to crush protests.

The State Department said Libyan officials have told U.S. diplomats that journalists who have entered Libya illegally to cover the violent unrest there will be treated like "al-Qaida collaborators."

Switzerland ordered the immediate freeze Thursday of any Swiss assets belonging to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi or his entourage, saying it wanted to prevent the possible misuse of state funds.

Seeking cooperation
In Tripoli, which remains largely closed to foreign media, locals said streets were calm but that they were too scared to go outside for fear of being shot by pro-government forces.

"I haven't heard gunshots, unlike in the last few days," said one resident living close to Green Square in the city center, a focus for gatherings.

He said Gadhafi supporters had gathered in the square. "They are mostly young men, but there were some older women too."

Pro-Gadhafi militiamen — a mix of Libyans and foreign mercenaries — have clamped down on the city since the Libyan leader went on state TV Tuesday night and called on his supporters to take back the streets. Residents say militiamen roam Tripoli's main avenues, firing the air, while neighborhood watch groups have barricaded side streets trying to keep the fighters out and protesters lay low.

At the same time, regular security forces have launched raids on homes around the city. A resident in the Ben Ashour neighborhood said a number of SUVs full of armed men swept into his district Wednesday night, broke into his neighbor's home and dragged out a family friend as women in the house screamed. He said other similar raids had taken place on Thursday in other districts.

"Now is the time of secret terror and secret arrests. They are going to go home to home and liquidate opponents that way, and impose his (Gadhafi's) control on Tripoli," said the witness.

Another Tripoli resident said armed militiamen had entered a hospital, searching for government rivals among the injured. He said a friend's relative being treated there escaped only because doctors hid him.

A witness in Tripoli told the AP after touring the capital that security around the city has been relaxed except for two locations that are very heavily guarded. The state TV and radio building was surrounded by dozens of heavily armed soldiers and several vehicles with heavy machine guns as well as the road leading to Gadhafi's residence. A number of residents have reported that the army deployed tanks Wednesday in Tripoli's eastern suburb of Tajoura.

The Libyan People's Committee for General Security issued a statement on state TV calling on protesters to surrender their weapons and offered rewards for those who inform on protest leaders.

"He who submits his weapon and shows remorse will be exempted from being pursued legally. The committee calls on citizens to cooperate and inform on those who led on the youth or supplied them with money, equipment or intoxicating substances and hallucinatory pills," the statement said.

The committee also said those cooperating would be given money.

  1. Get updates
    1. Follow us on Twitter

      Get the latest updates on this story and others from @breakingnews.

    2. Text NEWS to 67622 to receive mobile alerts

Under opposition control
In cities like Benghazi and Tobruk, troops and police have either withdrawn or have joined disparate opposition groups to start providing some order and services.

In Tobruk there was evidence of violent protest. An interior ministry building has been burned out, a Reuters correspondent there said, and the shells of about 15 vehicles lie in its central courtyard.

Breyek, 25, an unemployed graduate, said: "With 1,000 people dead, none of the clans will go back to Gadhafi. We don't know who will govern the country now but Libyans must act with one hand. No one should rule just the east or the west."

A prominent Benghazi protest organizer who works closely with the administration now running the city, said his camp was "trying to fight the propaganda that the regime is trying to send all over the world, that we are calling an independent state in the state or that we are calling for an Islamic state."

Gadhafi's son Saif claimed Thursday that the reported death tolls have been exaggerated, although he didn't provide his own figure. In a press conference aired on state TV, he said the number killed by police and the army had been limited and "talking about hundreds and thousands (killed) is a joke."

He also said a committee had been formed to investigate alleged foreign involvement in the protests.

Earlier Thursday, Libyan TV showed Egyptian passports, CDs and cell phones purportedly belonging to detainees who had allegedly confessed to plotting "terrorist" operations against the Libyan people.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Photos: Libya's uprising against Gadhafi

loading photos...
  1. People gathering in Benghazi, Libya in mid-February of 2011 as protest against the rule of Moammar Gadhafi grew, in part triggered by the arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel. EDITOR'S NOTE: The content, date and location of this image could not be independently verified. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Buildings at the entrance to a security forces compound burn in Benghazi, Feb. 21, 2011. Libyan protesters celebrated in the streets of Benghazi, claiming control of the country's second largest city after bloody fighting, and anti-government unrest spread to the capital with clashes in Tripoli's main square for the first time. (Alaguri / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi speaks on state television. Feb. 22, and signalled his defiance over a mounting revolt against his 41-year rule. (Libya TV via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Libyan U.N. ambassador Shalgham is embraced by Dabbashi, Libya's deputy U.N. Ambassador after denouncing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi for the first time during a Security Council meeting at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on Feb. 25. Shalgam, a longtime friend and member of Gadhafi's inner circle, had previously refused to denounce Gadhafi. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Thousands of Libyans gather for the Muslim Friday prayers outside the courthouse in the eastern city of Benghazi on Feb. 25, 2011. Perhaps 8,000 people gathered for the midday prayers with a local imam, who delivered his sermon alongside the coffins of three men killed in the violent uprising that routed Gadhafi loyalists from Benghazi. (Gianluigi Guercia / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Rebels hold a young man at gunpoint, who they accuse of being a loyalist to Gadhafi, between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf, March 3, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Pro-Gadhafi soldiers and supporters gather in Green Square in Tripoli, March 6, 2011. Thousands of Moammar Gadhafi's supporters poured into the streets of Tripoli, waving flags and firing their guns in the air in the Libyan leader's main stronghold, claiming overnight military successes. (Ben Curtis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Rebel fighters jump away from shrapnel during heavy shelling by forces loyal to Gadhafi near Bin Jawad, March 6. Rebels in east Libya regrouped and advanced on Bin Jawad after Gadhafi forces ambushed rebel fighters and ejected them from the town earlier in the day. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Libyan rebel fighters take cover as a bomb dropped by an airforce fighter jet explodes near a checkpoint on the outskirts of the oil town of Ras Lanuf on March 7, 2011. (Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Libyan rebels fire rockets at government troops on the frontline. March 9, 2011 near Ras Lanuf. The rebels pushed back government troops westward towards Ben Jawat. (John Moore / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Libyan government soldiers aboard tanks at the west gate of the town Ajdabiyah March 16, 2011. Libya's army pounded an opposition-held city in the country's west and battled fighters trying to block its advance on a rebel bastion in the east amid flagging diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed. EDITOR'S NOTE: Picture taken on a government guided tour. (Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Libyan people in Benghazi celebrate after the United Nations Security Council authorized a no-fly zone over Libya, March 18. Thousands of Libyans erupted in cheers as the news flashed on a giant screen in besieged Benghazi late March 17. After weeks of discussion, the UN Security Council banned flights in Libya's airspace and authorized "all necessary means" to implement the ban, triggering intervention by individual countries and organizations like NATO. (EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A picture combo shows a Libyan jet bomber crashing after being apparently shot down in Benghazi on March 19, 2011 as the Libyan rebel stronghold came under attack. Air strikes and sustained shelling of the city's south sent thick smoke into the sky. (Patrick Baz / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Residents of Benghazi flee the city along the road toward Tobruk, in an attempt to escape fighting in their city, March 19, 2011. Gaddafi's troops pushed into the outskirts of Benghazi, a city of 670,000 people, in an apparent attempt to pre-empt Western military intervention expected after a meeting of Western and Arab leaders in Paris. (Reuters TV) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Gadhafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A rebel fighter carries his weapon outside the northeastern Libyan town of Ajdabiyah, March 21, 2011. A wave of air strikes hit Gaddafi's troops around Ajdabiyah, a strategic town in the barren, scrub of eastern Libya that rebels aim to retake and where their fighters said they need more help. (Finbarr O'reilly / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. A Libyan rebel prays next to his gun on the frontline of the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, March 21, 2011. The international military intervention in Libya is likely to last "a while," a top French official said, echoing Moammar Gadhafi's warning of a long war ahead as rebels, energized by the strikes on their opponents. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Libyan rebels retreat as mortars from Gadhafi's forces are fired on them near the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, March 22, 2011. Coalition forces bombarded Libya for a third straight night, targeting the air defenses and forces of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, stopping his advances and handing some momentum back to the rebels, who were on the verge of defeat. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. A Libyan man is comforted by hospital staff as he reacts after identifying his killed brother in the morgue of the Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, March 22, 2011. His brother was killed earlier in fighting around the city of Ajdabiya. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Volunteer fighters training at a rebel army training camp in Benghazi, March 29, 2011. Pro-government forces intensified their attacks on Libyan rebels, driving them back over ground they had taken in recent days. The rebels had reached Nawfaliya, but pulled back to Bin Jawad. (Manu Brabo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Smoke billows as seven explosions were reported in the tightly-guarded residence of leader Moammar Gadhafi and military targets in the suburb of Tajura. Two explosions also rocked the Libyan capital Tripoli on March 29, 2011, as NATO-led coalition aircraft had been seen in the skies over the capital. (Mahmud Turkia / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A Libyan rebel urges people to leave, as shelling from Gadhafi's forces started landing on the frontline outside of Bin Jawaad, 93 miles east of Sirte, March 29, 2011. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. General Abdel-Fattah Younis, former interior minister in the Gadhafi regime who defected in the early days of the uprising, is greeted by Libyan rebels at the front line near Brega, April 1, 2011. (Altaf Qadri / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Libyan men show the V-sign for victory as they stand on the deck of a Turkish ship arriving from Misrata to the port of Benghazi who were evacuated along with others the injured in the fighting between rebel and Gadhafi forces, April 03, 2011. The Turkish vessel took hundreds of people wounded in the Libyan uprising for treatment in Turkey from the two cities of Misrata and Benghazi. (Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. A wounded prisoner from Gadhafi's forces is transported in the back of a pickup truck by rebels, on the way to a hospital for treatment, half way between Brega and Ajdabiya, April 9, 2011. Rebels say they took two prisoners after a clash with soldiers near Brega's university outside the government-controlled oil facilities, marking a noticeable advance by rebels. (Ben Curtis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. In this image taken from TV, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi makes a pubic appearance in Tripoli, April 14 2011. Gadhafi defiantly waved at his supporters while being driven around Tripoli while standing up through the sunroof of a car. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of government troops April 14, 2011, west of Ajdabiyah. (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Gadhafi supporters hold copies of his portrait as they gather at the Bab Al Azizia compound in Tripoli, April 15, 2011. Rebels held much of eastern Libya by mid-April, while Gadhafi controlled the west, with the front line shifting back and forth in the middle. (Pier Paolo Cito / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Doctors work on a baby who suffered cuts from shrapnel that blasted through the window of his home during fighting in the besieged city of Misrata, April 18, 2011. Thousands of civilians are trapped in Misrata as fighting continues between Libyan government forces that have surrounded the city and anti-government rebels there. The Libyan government has come under international criticism for using heavy weapons and artillery in its assault on Misrata. (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. MISRATA, LIBYA - APRIL 20: Libyan rebel fighters discuss how to dislodge some ensconced government loyalist troops who were firing on them from the next room during house-to-house fighting on Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata April 20, 2011 in Misrata, Libya. Rebel forces assaulted the downtown positions of troops loyal to Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddafi April 20, briefly forcing them back over a key bridge and trapping several in a building that fought back instead of surrendering, firing on the rebels in the building and seriously wounding two of them during the standoff. Fighting continues between Libyan government forces that have surrounded the city and anti-government rebels ensconced there. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images) (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Libyan rebel fighters carry out a comrade wounded during an effort to dislodge some ensconced government loyalist troops who were firing on them from a building during house-to-house fighting on Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata April 20, 2011. Rebel forces assaulted the downtown positions of troops loyal to Gaddafi, briefly forcing them back over a key bridge and trapping several in a building where they fought back instead of surrendering. Two rebels were seriously wounded during the standoff. (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Rebels tread carefully as they prepare to invade a house where soldiers from the pro-government forces had their base in the Zwabi area of Misrata on April 24, 2011. (Andre Liohn / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Libyans inspect damage and an unexploded missile at the Gadhafi family compound in a residential area of Tripoli, May 1, 2011. Gadhafi escaped a NATO missile strike in Tripoli that killed one of his sons and three young grandchildren. EDITOR'S NOTE: Photo taken on a government guided tour. (Darko Bandic / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Moammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, center, leaves the funeral of his brother Saif Al-Arab Gadhafi, who was killed during air strikes by coalition forces, at the El Hani cemetery in Tripoli, May 2, 2011. Crowds chanting Gadhafi's name gathered in Tripoli for the funeral of his son and three grandchildren. (Louafi Larbi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Fleeing migrants and Libyans are seen on board an International Organization of Migration ship leaving the port of Misrata on May 4, 2011, as Gadhafi forces continued to pound the city. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Libyan men watch as the main fuel depot in Libya's third largest city, Misrata, burns following a bombing by Gadhafi's forces on May 7, 2011. Libyan regime forces shelled fuel depots in Misrata and dropped mines into its harbor using helicopters bearing the Red Cross emblem, rebels said as they braced for a ground assault. (Ricardo Garcia Vilanova / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Libyan rebels celebrate near the airport of Misrata on May 11, 2011 after capturing the city's strategic airport following a fierce battle with Moammar Gadhafi's troops -- their first significant advance in weeks. (Ricardo Garcia Vilanova / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Women react after a protest against Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Benghazi, Libya, on May 16, 2011. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, announced that he would seek arrest warrants against the leader of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and the country's intelligence chief on charges of crimes against humanity. (Rodrigo Abd / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Tripoli street in Misrata is seen from the terrace of a building used by Gadhafi’s snipers before the rebels took control of the area on May 22, 2011. The weeks-long siege of the city ended in mid-May and Tripoli Street was the site of the fiercest fighting in the battle and a turnin point in the war. (Rodrigo Abd / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. A rebel fighter gives water to a soldier loyal to Gadhafi after he was wounded and then captured near the front line, west of Misrata on May 23, 2011. (Rodrigo Abd / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. An uncle, left, prays over the body of one and a half year-old Mohsen Ali al-Sheikh during a washing ritual during the funeral at his family's house in Misrata, May 27, 2011. The child was killed by a gunshot during clashes between rebels and pro-Gadhafi forces earlier in the day. (Wissam Saleh / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. The body of a drowned refugee floats near a capsized ship which was transporting an estimated 850 refugees from Libya, approximately 22 miles north of the Tunisian islands of Kerkennah, June 4, 2011. At least 578 survived the sinking. (Lindsay Mackenzie / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. A photograph taken from a video by a National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows Mutassem Gadhafi, son of Moammar Gadhafi, drinking water and smoking a cigarette following his capture and shortly before his death, in Sirte, Oct. 20, 2011. (- / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. A photograph taken from mobile phone video of a National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows the capture of Moammar Gadhafi in Sirte on Oct. 20, 2011. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. This image provided by the Libyan Youth Group on Nov. 19, 2011, shows Seif al-Islam Gadhafi after he was captured near the Niger border with Libya. Moammar Gadhafi's son, the only wanted member of the ousted ruling family to remain at large, was captured as he traveled with aides in a convoy in Libya's southern desert. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Timeline: Recent Middle East unrest

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments