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Defiant Gadhafi Vows Fight to the End
February 22, 2011

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Moammar Gadhafi is showing no signs of giving up control of Libya, a country he has ruled on a tight leash for 40 years.

The strongman appeared on state-run television and told his people that he would fight to the death to keep control of the country, and he urged his supporters to continue the violent crackdown that has earned the country worldwide condemnation, including a rebuke from the United Nations Security Council.

After security forces were seen roaming the streets of Tripoli, the country's capital, and shooting in abandon, protesters decided to forgo the kind of mass event that has made headlines in Egypt and Bahrain.

It was clear enough that the capital was still in the hands of the dictator. However, Benghazi, the country's second-largest city, was certainly in the hands of antigovernment protesters, aided by certain numbers of the military who had changed sides.

Gadhafi faced increasing isolation, as his justice minister and several ambassadors resigned to protest the violence. Protesters claim to be in possession of several other cities, including Zuweita, one of the country's main ports for exporting oil.

The U.S. State Department announced the commissioning of a large ferry boat to carry Americans living in Libya to safety. About 600 U.S. citizens now live in Libya. Several thousand other people hold dual Libya-U.S. citizenship.



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