Nightly News | August 22, 2011
>>> good evening. tonight in libya , things are quickly coming to an end for moammar gadhafi . while there are battles still being fought, there are also celebrations underway. his remaining loyalists are fighting it out in the streets. pockets of resistance really as his 40-year-plus rule comes to an end. this was tripoli today, these rebels streaming into the city have cobbled this revolution, really a full scale war out of home made weapons at first and now with help, they are an overwhelming force. this means more change in that part of the world and this is a changing situation still tonight. our team is in place tonight and we begin our coverage with our chief foreign correspondent richard engel who was among the first to report from tripoli last night, having come into town with the rebels . and richard, as we understand it, gadhafi 's two sons in custody and yet we still don't have a real good idea of where gadhafi is at this hour, correct?
>> reporter: good evening, brian. no one knows where gadhafi is, no one in this country, certainly. we are now in tripoli 's green square and it was in this square that gadhafi promised to crush the rebels . now the square is controlled by rebels , they have been coming in and out of here all day celebrating their near complete takeover of tripoli . it was a day of embraces, cheers.
>> gadhafi die.
>> reporter: and of course here, celebratory gun fire. libyans this morning poured into tripoli to see what they thought was their fully liberated city.
>> the city is under siege and control of the rebels .
>> reporter: rebels were greeted like heroes, some kissed the ground in thanks. the outpouring of emotion wasn't only in tripoli . in benghazi, the rebel's capital saved by intervention. and the city's gadhafi 's forces peppered by rockets and nearly destroyed.
>> libya is free finally.
>> reporter: nationwide, they tore moammar gadhafi 's old green flag and paraded the rebels tri-colored banner. nearly all signs of state control here on gone. libyan government tv is off the air. but away from the celebrations, tripoli is still at war.
>> there's many snipers from gadhafi .
>> reporter: the rebels hold about 90% of the city but don't control gadhafi 's compound, fortified like an army base . we're just about 300 yards from gadhafi 's compound, it's attend of this street. loyalists inside have been firing tank and mortars to defend it, making a final stand . its unclear if gadhafi is still inside, his whereabouts unknown.
>> even his big corps and his army, they lose control .
>> reporter: rebels are preparing to take the compound and have it surrounded. a day that began with such joy, ended with the realization these rebels still have fighting to do. and, brian, the rebels here are already changed the name from green square to martyr square.
>> gadhafi said if it came to it he would die in libya as a martyr, is there any reason not to take him at his word?
>> reporter: there doesn't seem to be, some speculate he may have left the country and gone to some sub saharan african country, but many believe he's in his compound and is prepared to die there.
>>> it's a new day in libya , but that's about all