Blast, firing in Tripoli as Gaddafi calls on supporters to fight rebels
Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi called on supporters Sunday to "march by the millions" and quash the uprising, as strong blasts rocked Tripoli. They were heard shortly after 4:00 am (0200 GMT) in the heart of the city, AFP said. Eyewitnesses reported clashes in several quarters between insurgents and Gaddafi supporters.
"We have to put an end to this masquerade. You must march by the millions to free the destroyed towns" controlled by rebels he labeled as "traitors" and "rats." "These scum enter mosques to cry 'God is great.' They are dirty. They are defiling the mosques," Gaddafi said in an audio message carried on state television.
The Libyan leader also accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy of recruiting the insurgents as "agents" to steal his country's oil wealth. "To win the upcoming elections, he wants to be able to say to his people: 'Here, I'm offering you Libyan oil' and this is going to be achieved with the help of traitors.
"But the Libyan people will not allow France to take its oil or leave Libya to the hands of traitors," he said.
In the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Libyan rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil claimed that victory was within reach ."We have contacts with people from the inner circle of Gaddafi," said the chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC). "All evidence (shows) that the end is very near, with God's grace."