Colonel Gaddafi has vowed to fight on, despite the storming of his compound in Tripoli yesterday.
Shortly after midnight BST, his spokesman Moussa Ibrahim released a message to Arab TV saying that Gaddafi vows “death or victory” and that they have the ability to fight “not only for months but for years”. Earlier, the pro-Gaddafi Al-Ouraba TV channel quoted the leader as saying that he had left the compound in a “tactical move”.
In the early hours of this morning, Gaddafi released another audio message from an unknown location, calling on the residents of the capital to “cleanse” Tripoli from the “devils” who have stormed it:
The tribes and youth of Tripoli, they all have to cleanse their areas… All youth, men and women should go out to cleanse their areas from the rats. They don’t want you to live in happiness. They will make you live in the dark and they will take your oil… I have been out in Tripoli discreetly yesterday without people seeing me. I saw youths sitting and chatting and everything was normal and without feeling that the city was in danger.
Despite these defiant words — Ibrahim said that the government would retake Tripoli within “two or three days” — the storming of Gaddafi’s city-within-a-city provided a symbolic victory for the rebels after a six-month civil war. They tore the golden face off his statue, burned his trademark Bedouin tent, and flew the flag of pre-Gaddafi Libya.
Gaddafi’s whereabouts are unknown, but there is speculation that he is in his hometown of Sirte, a loyalist stronghold.