Gaddafi urges supporters to seize French weapons supplied to rebels

14:44, July 03, 2011      

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Libyans loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi holding his portraits and Libyan national flags attend a rally protesting against coalition air strikes on Libya outside the UN office in Tripoli, capital of Libya, July 2, 2011. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has ordered his supporters to confiscate the weapons that France has supplied to rebel forces.

"March on the jebel and seize the weapons that the French have supplied," Gaddafi said Friday in a telephone speech that was broadcast on loudspeakers to supporters in central Tripoli's Green Square.

Tens of thousands of Gaddafi supporters waved green flags, held his picture and shouted pro-government slogans as their leader urged them to march toward rebels-held towns such as Misrata.

France confirmed earlier this week that it had been supplying light weapons to the rebels since early June despite a U.N. resolution adopted in February that imposed a comprehensive arms embargo on Libya.

France said its action was to protect civilians from attacks launched by forces loyal to Gaddafi. Countries such as Russia, however, have voiced concern over the move.

In his speech, Gaddafi also called on the western bloc to stop actions against the Libyan people, and threatened to take the battle to Europe if NATO does not stop its air strikes in Libya.

NATO's air raids in Libya have lasted over 100 days since France, Britain and the United States launched the first round of attack on March 19.

The embattled Libyan leader once again refused to hand over power, stressing that his power had been given to the Libyan people in 1977.

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