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Gaddafi vows not to surrender

(Xinhua)

08:41, September 02, 2011

CAIRO, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi Thursday vowed in a TV audio message not to surrender and urged his loyalists to continue resistance to the rebellion, while the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) announced a one-week extension of deadline for forces loyal to Gaddafi in Sirte to lay down arms.

"Let this be a long fight and let Libya be engulfed in flames," the toppled Libya leader said in a message broadcast on Syria's Al- Rrai TV channel.

He called on his loyalists in the Libyan capital Tripoli to fight back and "set ambushes" against the "collaborators" of NATO. He also urged the tribes who supported him to continue fighting even if they could not hear from him again.

"All Libyan tribes are heavily armed and cannot be brought to their knees," said Muammar Gaddafi, reiterating that "we'll be awarded victory ultimately. We can never surrender."

The audio message came as the fourth one given by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, whose whereabouts remain misty, since the rebels overran his headquarters in Tripoli on Aug. 23.

In an audio message broadcast on a Syrian TV channel Wednesday, Gaddafi's second son, Saif al-Islam said his father was doing well and vowed to "liberate" the Green Square in Tripoli from the rebels' control.

In a conflicting sign from Gaddafi's camp, the former leader's third son Saadi sent a contradictory message, saying he was authorized by his father to negotiate with the rebels to end the bloodshed in Libya.

Earlier on Thursday, the NTC announced a one-week extension of the deadline for pro-Gaddafi forces to lay down arms, Doha-based TV channel Al-Jazeera reported.

The previous deadline, Sept. 3, was set by the NTC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Tuesday for the Gaddafi loyalists in Sirte, the embattled leader's hometown.

Jalil said the rebels were in negotiation with local tribal elders over a peaceful handover of the town of Sirte. If the efforts failed by the deadline, he said, the rebels would resort to military means to enter the town.

Sirte, located between the capital Tripoli and the rebel base Benghazi, is being besieged by the rebel forces from east and west.

Meanwhile, officials from about 60 countries gathered in Paris for a "Friends of Libya" conference, which was cohosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Also attended by top leaders of the NTC, the meeting aims at discussing the future of Libya without Muammar Gaddafi. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and heads of the NTC.

The meeting is for a "new era of cooperation with the democratic Libya," Sarkozy said on the eve at an annual conference gathering ambassadors.

Clinton urged the new leadership of Libya to stand against violent extremism and ensure that weapons from Gaddafi's stockpiles impose no threat to Libya's neighbors and the whole world.

"NATO and our allies will continue our operations... for as long as it is necessary to protect civilian lives," British Prime Minister David Cameron said, noting that the struggle is not yet over.

In an interview with the French Europe 1 radio channel, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said there's no ambiguity (in the position of Algeria) towards Libya, denying reports that the toppled Libyan leader is in Algeria, while admitting that part of Gaddafi's family was given shelter in the country for " humanitarian reasons."

Algeria's French-language newspaper El Watan said in an unconfirmed report on its website Wednesday Muammar Gaddafi was staying in a town on the Libyan-Algerian border waiting for permission to enter Algeria.

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