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http://www.petercliffordonline/libya

THE STORY OF MOAMMAR GADDAFI’S LAST FEW HOURS:

WHEREABOUTS OF SAIF GADDAFI STILL A MYSTERY:

THE END OF ONE ERA AND THE START OF A NEW ONE – A PERSONAL VIEW:

CHINA URGES LIBYA TO BEGIN “AN INCLUSIVE POLITICAL PROCESS”:

TIMELINE – 21st October 2011 12.52 GMT:

In a momentous day yesterday, 20th October 2011, exactly 2 months after the liberation of Tripoli, Moammar Gaddafi’s cruel, eccentric and bloody rule over Libya came to a dramatic end when he was captured, ironically, hiding in a stinking, rodent infested storm drain by the freedom fighters he referred to as “rats” and “cockroaches”.

Numerous stories seem to surround the last few hours of Gaddafi’s life but having trawled the numerous accounts and videos it seems to go something like this:

Reduced to their last few buildings in Sirte by repeated NTC onslaugths and heavily outnumbered, running out of both food, water and ammunition, Gaddafi’s men knew by Thursday morning that the game was up.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

The Remains of No 2 District in Sirte - huffingtonpost.com

A decision was taken to attempt a break out and as many as 40 vehicles were loaded with men, weapons, ammunition and supplies. 

Unfortunately for them, NATO AWACS aircraft and surveillance drones were listening in and used to the normal everyday ramblings of the Gaddafi forces they picked up the unusual activity.

According to Mansour Daw, Gaddafi’s former internal security chief, who was captured alive and interviewed on Thursday, Gaddafi himself had been living in Sirte since August, staying in the apartments of various relatives and supporters. 

Daw joined him apparently in Sirte after the fall of Tripoli, though he had previously been widely reported last month as turning up in Agadez with an armed convoy in northern Niger.

Gaddafi went to Sirte, Daw said, because he had a wide support base there. “In beginning he had supporters and loyalists there, but [as] the fighting intensified a lot of them left the city.”

The “Gaddafi in the southern deserts” story was a decoy, perhaps even known to the NTC who perpetuated it to, in turn, misinform Gaddafi’s supporters and to distract from the knowledge that they were closing in. 

Intelligence sources say that they have known for at least a week that Gaddafi was in Sirte and that they had heard him break telephone silence and identified him using voice recognition software.

http:www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

US Predator Drone

Just after 8.00am local time on Thursday morning, the 40 vehicles, containing Gaddafi, his closest advisors, fighters and entourage, made a run for it. 

They headed for the coastal highway and turned west towards Misrata, hoping to breakthrough all the NTC checkpoints on the way.

However, NATO were already tracking their movements and a Predator Drone, controlled from an airbase near Las Vegas, launched a missile (s) which struck one or more of the lead vehicles.

This was quickly followed by an attack from 2 of France’s NATO aircraft which strafed and bombed the convoy and brought it to a halt at around 8.30am aproximately 2 kilometres from its departure point in “Number 2″ district.

By this time, hundreds of NTC fighters in pursuit had caught up and a gun battle that lasted more than 3 hours ensued in which several died on both sides.  In the end the Gaddafi’s and their bodyguards were cornered on the side of the road hiding in a storm drain or behind a sand barricade. The BBC has a video of Gaddafi’s last moments and the remains of the convoy HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Gaddafi's Last Hiding Place - A Storm Drain - Reuters

Mutassim Gaddafi denied who he was.  Gaddafi himself said ( and there are various versions) “What’s wrong?” “Don’t shoot, my Son.”

Gaddafi appears to have suffered a number of injuries to his body, including his legs and shoulder.  NTC officials claim that he was later wounded  in the head, after his arrest, in cross fire between the remaining Gaddafi loyalists and NTC fighters.

What is clear from the videos is that NTC fighters pulled his hair, hit him with shoes and boots and generally roughed him up and dragged him around, and he died shortly after or in an ambulance on the way to Misrata.

One 18 year old fighter is credited with the shot that finally did for the dictator, and there are photographs of the youngster being carried aloft and brandishing Gaddafi’s golden gun which he was apparently holding when captured.

Mutassim Gaddafi was captured alive but later died from a bullet woud to the chest.  Both bodies were publicly displayed in Misrata, a city that perhaps suffered most from Gaddafi’s brutal suppression. 

Gaddafi’s dead body was driven around Misrata in the back of a pick up truck and Mutassim’s displayed at the home of a local doctor’s family. 

Gaddafi’s former defence minister, Abu Bakr Yunis Jabr, was also captured alive, but was later killed in unknown circumstances and his body was also transported to Misrata. Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief,  Abdullah al-Senussi, wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague like Gaddafi and his son Saif, was killed somewhere along in the fighting on Thursday morning too.

Moussa Ibrahim, Gaddafi’s former spokesman, internationally recognised for his somewhat delusional presentations in English to the media, was apparenly arrested unharmed.

WHEREABOUTS OF SAIF GADDAFI STILL A MYSTERY:

The whereabouts of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi remain something of a mystery.  A few days ago it was reported that he was injured in a convoy of 9 vehicles fleeing Bani Walid last Monday and which was struck by NATO jets, leaving Saif with “leg injuries”.

Then yesterday it was reported by a NTC official that he had been captured, injured, in a convoy detained in the area of Zliten, apparently complaining that he had “not eaten for 2 days”.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Too Late For that Signal Saif! - dailymail.co.uk

Lastly, today there are reports that he has been left “fighting for his life” after his convoy was struck by RAF Tornados on Thursday as he fled Sirte!

So your guess is as good as mine on that one!  Updates as soon as they appear. Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley, who has done a brilliant job reporting on Libya, has a video report from Sirte HERE:

The NTC have announced that Gaddafi and the others will be buried in the traditional Islamic way as early as today, though latest reports say that there might be delay.  There is some confusion as to where. 

Initial reports said Gaddafi would be buried “secretly” in Misrata and later ones that he would be buried in Sirte. Apparently there is a  bit of an argument between the Misrata fighters and the NTC.

(EDITOR: Personally I think they should bury him in the deep ocean like the US did with Bin Laden and avoid the possibility of creating “a shrine” for loyalists to focus on.)

Gaddafi’s wife Safia, his daughter Aisha, his eldest son Mohammed, possibly his “dead” adopted daugher Hana,  and their children and entourage remain in Algeria. Mahmoud Jibril, the NTC’s interim Prime Minister, yesterday asked for their return and the Algerian government has now fully recognised Libya’s new administration and may or may not comply.

Saadi Gaddafi is in the Niger capital of Niamey. Khamis Gaddafi is almost certainly dead, killed in a missile strike on August 29th south of Tripoli.

THE END OF ONE ERA AND THE START OF A NEW ONE – A PERSONAL VIEW:

EDITOR: So there you have it.  The final end  of a brutal dictatorship and a family that lived extraordinay lavish lifestyles on the back of vast oil wealth while the majority of Libyans lived on $2 a day or less and suffered 40%  unemployment.  Therein lay the seeds of their destruction.

Let’s  hope this serves as a stark warning to other dictators and repressive regimes around the world.

But I doubt it. Dictators by their very nature delude themselves on a daily basis about their popularity and condone or allow brutal suppression which eventually bounces back in violent confrontation.

They fail to understand that oppression creates the very energy and resistance that will eventually overwhelm them.

Gaddafi found that out yesterday, when he discoverd that it was not true that “all my people love me” in a rather horrendous way.

I have chosen not to show any more photographs or videos here of the “justice” metered out yesterday to the Gaddafi’s other than what appears in the main media offerings above.

 While I cannot see any alternative to removing the likes of Gaddafi, Assad and the rest of their ilk other than armed resistance because they will never hand over power willingly, I am also rather uncomfortable watching video of a 69 year old man being knocked about in the street.

Had I been there, I would probably have gone to his aid, as I would if I saw anyone, of any age being abused anywhere in the world. 

Having said that, I also think that Gaddafi is better off dead at this point, sparing him and us the torture of watching him on trial and then being hanged anyway. 

Being a decent human being is not easy and often something of a dilemna!

The reaction of some other countries around the world to Gaddafi’s death is interesting.

CHINA URGES LIBYA TO BEGIN “AN INCLUSIVE POLITICAL PROCESS”:

Repressive Arab states were noticeably silent. China, in a moment of stunning internal blindness, urged Libya to start the transition to”an inclusive political process”. I am sure many Chinese held in political prisons  and most residents of Tibet would have something to say about that.

Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, said, “The  inevitable fate of all dictators and oppressors who do not respect the rights of their people is destruction.” I hope the author of that bit his tongue when he wrote it!

Congratulations to all Libyans on your incredible achievement.  All of us I am sure who believe in freedom and justice salute your bravery and courage and the extraordinary sacrifice that ordinary individuals have made to come out from under the heel of control and oppression.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Victory Celebration in Martys Square, Tripoli - EPA

I sincerely hope that you can now build a new, inclusive, free, fair and democratic society which will allow everyone the opportunity, whatever their religion, tribe, colour or politics, the opportunity to grow, learn, be creative and flourish.

If you do, then Libya will be a very fine, even an incredible place to visit.  It is up to you now.

Start the process as soon as possible with forgiveness and reconciliation – it is time to heal the wounds of 42 years brutality.

As Mahmoud Jibril says in this interview, the future must belong particularly to Libya’s young and Libya’s women. Click HERE:

Without freedom of choice, freedom of expression, freedom and equality of opportunity and freedom to be or do what you most want in life, individuals cannot grow and become the very best that that can, thereby enhancing themselves and their potential and nurturing the society in which they live.

And there are still too many places in the world where there is no chance of that happening at the present time – Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, China, Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Burma and many more. The world will be a better place when they all fall to true democratic societies that uphold human rights and common decency.

Until then, I will do my small bit to encourage resistance and publicise abuse where I find it.

No doubt there will be plenty more I will write about on the evolving new Libya but I will also try and spend more of my time on the immediate problems of Syria and Bahrain.

And in a final irony, it is interesting to note that Gaddafi came to power by overthrowing the rule of King Idris and his family in 1969.  In October 2011 King Idris’s tricolour crescent and star flag flies over tens of thousands of buildings across Libya. 

As President Obama said yesterday “today’s events prove once more that the rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end.”

So Assad, Saleh and the rest of the world’s oppressors, watch out! – in this modern age of cyber technology and communication  the planets human rights activists are united like never before in moving against you.

The end of one era in Libya ……………

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Khamis's Eagle From His 32nd Brigade HQ Goes for Melt Down - courtesy of @4Adam

The start of a new one ………..

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Children - Libya's Future - Celebrate in Tripoli - CNN

 *********************************************

COLONEL MUAMMAR GADDAFI KILLED IN SIRTE – VIDEO FOOTAGE:

UPDATED 18.16 GMT 20th October 2011

Al Jazeera has shown mobile phone video footage of Muammar Gaddafi’s body (EDITOR:  Caution – Raw and rather bloody but little doubt it is Gaddafi) which you can see HERE:

There is now no doubt that Gaddafi is dead.  The circumstances of his death are unclear as he was first reported captured with injuries to his legs.

Later reports say that he was cornered in a culvert on the side of the road holding a weapon. At this point he was shot in the shoulder and put in an ambulance to be taken to Misrata Hospital.

It seems in the end he died on the way to Misrata and his body was filmed laying in the dirt on the side of the road. A second video (EDITOR: Again rather disturbing) shows the moment of Gaddafi’s arrest HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonlien.com/libya-2

Video Still of Gaddafi's Dead Body - Al Jazeera

Latest reports say that his body has been removed to a mosque in Misrata and that the NTC have now confirmed his death.

There are unconfirmed reports that his intelligence chief al-Senousi has also been killed.  Video footage of the dead body of Abu Bakr Yunis Jabr, Gaddaf’s former defence minister was shown earlier this morning. Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley has a video report from Sirte HERE:

Earlier reports also suggested that Gadaffi’s son Mutassim has been captured alive, though injured, while trying to flee Sirte in a convoy of vehicles, but more recently the NTC Information Minister has said he is also dead. There is a photograph (EDITOR: Also rather gruesome) HERE:

Moussa Ibrahim, Gaddafi’s former spokesman, is reported  arrested.

The convoy was attacked both by NATO and NTC fighters about 1 kilometre from the centre as it tried to flee the town and force its way through NTC checkpoints.  French jets apparently stopped the convoy in its tracks.

With Gaddafi’s death after 42 years of misrule it now leaves Libyans free to develop their own free and democratic future.  Let’s hope they make the most of it. As President Obama said this evening “It will be a long and winding road to full democracy.”

Further updates follow as information becomes available.

 SIRTE LIBERATED BY NTC FORCES IN FINAL 90 MINUTE GUN BATTLE:

HOMEMADE ARMOURED BULLDOZER USED IN FINAL PUSH TO TAKE SIRTE:

UNCONFIRMED REPORT THAT SAIF GADDAFI “MAY HAVE BEEN INJURED” IN ATTACK ON BANI WALID CONVOY:

JIBRIL SPECULATES THAT GADDAFI  LOYALISTS  MAY MOUNT AN INSURGENCY USING SAHARAN DESERT TRIBES:

TIMELINE – 20th October 2011 updated 12.21 GMT:

UPDATE 12.21 GMT: Latest reports Al Jazeera live saying that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was shot in a gun battle and is now dead – Remains UNCONFIRMED BY THE NTC.

Also reports that Mutassim Gaddafi and Moussa Ibrahim captured in convoy that tried to flee to the west of Sirte early this morning and which was attacked both by NATO and NTC fighters.  Again UNCONFIRMED. News awaited.

UNCONFIRMED reports emerging form Sirte that Colonel Gaddafi himself has been found “hiding in a hole” crying “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” (EDITOR: I urge caution here, this sounds too reminicent of the capture of Sadaam Hussein!).

Other reports say he was captured after being “critically injured”.

SIRTE LIBERATED BY NTC FORCES IN FINAL 90 MINUTE GUN BATTLE:

In dramatic moves this morning, NTC fighters gained control of the whole of Sirte in a battle starting at 8.00am but which lasted no more than 90 minutes. The liberation of Sirte was confirmed by reporters at the scene who watched the final battle.

“There are no Gaddafi fighters any more,” said Colonel Yunis al-Abdali, “We are now chasing the fighters who are trying to run away.” At least 16 Gaddafi fighters have been captured along with trucks loaded with ammunition and weapons. 

Five  (some reports say as many as 40) Gaddafi vehicles were reported to have attempted to flee westwards down the coastal highway before 8.00am but NTC fighters engaged them in gunfire, killing at least 20.

The whereabouts of Mutassim Gaddafi and other senior regime figures currently remains unknown.  Further  information follows as soon as possible.

“Libya is free from east to west,” cried  Malik Al Gantri, a young fighter from Tripoli who had been fighting  for two weeks. “I hope to go home now,” he said as hundreds of other fighters in the centre of Sirte shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greatest”) and both danced in the street and fired guns in the air.

One elderly man, blind in one eye, rode round and round on a bike carrying both an AK 47 and the NTC flag.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

NTC Fighters Mopping Up The Last of Gaddaf's Fighters

The fall of the town follows on from NTC fighters keeping up their intense bombardment of Gaddafi’s last remaining territorial stronghold, finally reduced to an area of no more than 700 square metres in district “Number 2″.

However, so strong was the resistance and the barrage of returning sniper, mortar and rocket fire that NTC troops retreated on Tuesday, regrouping yesterday, Wednesday for yet another advance.  

Effectively, the last area remaining to be captured was just 4 or 5 streets but  the strength of the resistance had meant that NTC fighters spent 2 whole days just capturing 1 residential building.

The level of resistance by the defending forces continued to convince local commanders that they are fighting some of the more significant figures in the Gaddafi regime, including possibly Gaddafi’s son Mutassim and the former government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.

Some NTC fighters also continued to believe that Colonel Gaddafi himself was in the last remaining stronghold, but most observers, including the NTC leadership, thought this  unlikely and that he was probably roaming the southern deserts with a strongly armed group of nomad Tuareg to protect him. Now looks as though they were wrong.

As can now be seen, it was a very, very difficult fight but progress has finally been made. Essam Baghhar, a commander for the Zintan Brigade, said that they had captured many snipers in the last 2 days, including 2 women. 

Another fighter confirmed that they had captured a Gaddafi weapons store, depriving the opposition of much needed military supplies.

HOMEMADE ARMOURED BULLDOZER USED IN FINAL PUSH TO TAKE SIRTE:

In an effort to break through the barracades of vehicles, debris and shipping containers placed in their path, the NTC yesterday unveiled their latest “Heath – Robinson” invention to clear a path forward into Gaddafi’s last bastion.

http:www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

NTC Armoured Bulldozer at Sirte

The armoured bulldozer they have constructed rather resembles a ship with a pointed prow and port holes. 

The commander of the battering ram was even seen wearing a jaunty captain’s peak cap with gold braid.

Mounted on top of the vehicle is a tank turret and the sides are protected with concrete sandwiched between steel plates. 

Inside will be 4 gunners with 5 heavy machine guns between them and on top a tank gun, all designed as an effective way of confronting snipers without getting shot in return.

Originally constructed in Misrata to engage in the fight for Tripoli, it never saw battle as the capital fell so quickly.  Now NTC fighters hope it will help them rapidly finish the costly fight in Sirte.

Over the last 2 days 18 NTC fighters have been reported killed and 169 wounded. The Telegraph has video footage of the new “secret weapon” HERE:

NTC fighters attacking the tiny remaining Gaddafi enclave from both the east and the west can now see each other, so hopefully “friendly fire” casualties can now be avoided.  

The fighters have also observed that the remaning Gaddafi troops that they can see are wearing civilian clothes and not uniforms, so the identity of everyone at the front, including reporters, is being closely checked.

UNCONFIRMED REPORT THAT SAIF GADDAFI “MAY HAVE BEEN INJURED” IN ATTACK ON BANI WALID CONVOY:

In Bani Walid there has been a clean up of  the hospital so that it can be brought back into use and of the many dead bodies in the basement it is reported that the majority were mercenaries, though this has not been independently confirmed.

There is also a completely UNCONFIRMED report that a convoy of Gaddafi vehicles was attacked leaving Bani Walid and that Saif Gaddafi may be injured.  

This does tie up however with a NATO report on Tuesday saying that they had attacked a “command and control node” of 9 identified military vehicles south -east of Bani Walid on Monday evening.  

According to other military sources the convey of vehicles, some “heavily armed”, was struck by RAF Tornado GR4s firing Paveway precision guided bombs, followed by a second strike made by other allied aircraft.  We await further informatiion on this one.

There are additionally reports this morning, Thursday, that more fighting has broken out in the Bani Walid area.

JIBRIL SPECULATES THAT GADDAFI LOYALISTS MAY MOUNT AN INSURGENCY USING SAHARAN DESERT TRIBES:

In Tripoli, Mahmoud Jibril, the NTC’s de facto Prime Minister, confirmed once again that he will stand down once Sirte is taken and Libya’s liberation declared.  At that point a new interim government will take over and guide the country to elections in 8 months time.

Jibril, who was educated and held senior academic positions in the US, said that after resigning he would turn his attention to working with non-governmental organisations fighting corruption.

Jibril also said that the NTC had received reports that 68 Gaddafi vehicles, each containing up to 8 people, had crossed the Libyan border into Mali and that Gaddafi himself had done a deal with the Hamada tribe which roams the desert borders of Chad, Sudan and Libya to “provide 12,ooo fighters”.

If true this could become a serious headache, despite Gaddafi’s death as his supporters may still have access to the large numbers of weapons still believed to be stored in hidden locations in the desert.  A counter insurgency could last for years.

With this prospect in mind, it is probably why Hilary Clinton, on her visit to Tripoli on Monday, said that she hoped Gaddafi would be “captured or killed,” the first time a senior US government figure had called for his death.  Looks as though that has now come true.

Jibril additionally expressed concern over the large numbers of armed but unemployed young men who would be soon returning from the front.  

In order to prevent violence and revenge attacks, the Government was considering giving the young men gainful employment in a national army or with private security companies who would be charged with protecting Libya’s oil and gas infrastructure, public buildings and borders.  USA Today has further details: 

**************************************

AS NTC FIGHTERS UNDER SNIPER FIRE RESCUE BANGLADESHI FAMILIES IN SIRTE, 13 OF THEIR COMPATRIOTS KILLED IN MORTAR ATTACK:

VICTORY PARTY IN BANI WALID CONTINUES AS STORED WEAPONS FOUND BUT NO SAIF GADDAFI:

US SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON CONGRATULATES LIBYANS ON THEIR VICTORY BUT URGES CONTROL OF ARMED MILITIAS ASAP:

BOXING,  ONCE BANNED BY GADDAFI BECAUSE IT WAS “VIOLENCE”, NOW BACK ON THE SPORTS AGENDA:

TIMELINE – 19th October 2011 UPDATED 20.57 GMT:

While jubilant NTC fighters  carried on celebrating their victory in Bani Walid on Tuesday, their compatriots in Sirte continued a fierce engagement with the remaining Gaddafi loyalists.

The majority of Gaddafi’s fighters are now believed to be concentrated in just a 2 block area in “Number 2″ district.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

NTC Tank Fires on "Number 2" District from Sirte Seafront - Reuters

Alternately attacking the area with heavy weapons and then following up with almost hand to hand fighting, the NTC fighters in Sirte are suffering heavy casualties, particularly from sniper and mortar fire.

But they remain doggardly determined to reach their goal of ousting the Gaddafi loyalists completely.

Moving in from the east yesterday the NTC captured a small vegetable market, sniper fire and rocket propelled grenades raining down from the tops of high buildings nearby as they did so.

At one point a mortar landed in the middle of a group of NTC fighters clustered together on Sirte’s eastern seafront, killing 13 of them in one go.

Even at this late stage in the conflict, civilians continue to emerge from seriously damaged buildings in Sirte.

Yesterday NTC fighters rescued 2 Bangladeshi families, both with small children, whose pick up truck broke down as they tried to escape.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

NTC Fighters Rescue Bangladeshi Children Under Sniper Fire - AP

As sniper fire whizzed overhead, the NTC fighters picked up the children and ran for cover.

Both families survived intact and unharmed and gratefully received food and water at a medical field station away from the fighting.

Two Chadians found at a farm house behind the frontline did not receive such a warm welcome particularly as they had quantities of gold, cash, jewellery and mobile phones, all believed stolen. AFP has more details HERE:

Sirte, once Gaddafi’s most favoured town, is now largely in ruins and virtually not one building has escaped the ravages of war. 

The BBC’s Wyre Davies describes Sirte as though it was once a “spoiled, molly – coddled child in an otherwise ignored family” and “the siblings are now exacting their revenge.” 

You can read more of Wyre Davies excellent report, recommended reading, HERE: and a video report under fire in Sirte HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Bangladeshi Families Safe in NTC Hands - AP

VICTORY PARTY IN BANI WALID CONTINUES AS STORED WEAPONS FOUND BUT NO SAIF GADDAFI:

In Bani Walid the victory party continued last night after a day spent combing the town and surrounding area for signs of the disappearing Gaddafi forces and in particular senior figures of the former regime such as Saif al-Islam Gaddafi who was reported eating a meal in a nearby village last Thursday.

Although the NTC fighters found guns and ammunition, including Kalashnikovs, buried in people’s yards, there was no sign of the remnants of the Gaddafi fugitives.  Bani Walid is protected by steep sided mountains and valleys and some of these are riddled with caves.

Some prisoners have also suggested that there is a network of tunnels and fighters are looking for the entrances to these.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

NTC Fighters Celebrate Victory in the Centre of Bani Walid

Ali Abdel-Rahman, a NTC field commander said that the breakthrough at Bani Walid came when they received much needed supplies and ammunition. 

The NTC lost 3 fighters in the final day but otherwise there was little resistance.

“We didn’t find a regular army,” he continued, “But only loyalists of Gaddafi, snipers with automatic weapons. Some of the Gaddafi brigades took off their uniforms and vanished.”

He said even families had fled the area. “There was a widespread perception that there would be a massacre here and pools of blood, but on the contrary, it was very bloodless, swift and with no resistance.”

Back at the victory party in Bani Walid’s central square, fighters laughed, praised Allah, fired thousands of rounds in the air, and cried. 

Some recalled friends lost in battle and others worried about their psychological state in the future, how to adjust back to “normal” life in a free Libya and whether their leaders would forget them and their sacrifice.  Reuters has a good article on this HERE:

US SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON CONGRATULATES LIBYANS ON THEIR VICTORY BUT URGES CONTROL OF ARMED MILITIAS ASAP:

In Tripoli, Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, made her first visit to Libya, arriving somewhat unconventionally in a US military transport plane, evidently better equipped to detect and evade shoulder held missiles than her normal State Department jet.

In a press conference at Tripoli’s Town Hall, she lavished praise on the courage and strength of Libyans in standing up to the former dictator and said,”I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Tripoli and on behalf of the American people I congratulate Libya. This is Libya’s moment, this is Libya’s victory, the future belongs to you.”

http://www.peterclifforodnline.com/libya-2

Hilary Clinton Meets with Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Tripoli - Reuters

Detailing a package of aid, as reported yesterday, Clinton also urged the armed militias in Libya to combine as a national army under centralised control as soon as possible. 

Afterwards, going into a private meeting with the NTC Executive she said, “Now the hard part begins.”

You can read the full official text of Clinton’s speech HERE:  and watch a BBC video report HERE:

BOXING,  ONCE BANNED BY GADDAFI BECAUSE IT WAS “VIOLENCE”, NOW BACK ON THE SPORTS AGENDA:

Lastly, years ago, Giubran Zugdani, Libya’s most promising boxer at the time, was widely photographed shaking hands with Muhammad Ali but Gaddafi hated any other potential rising stars in his repressive firmament other than his own.

Shortly after Zugdani’s appearance in the 1976 Olympics, Gaddafi ironically banned the sport in Libya on the grounds that it was “violence” and Zugdani and his compatriots disappeared from view.

But now they are back, dusting off their old boxing gloves and teaching youngsters their skills in half of a sports hall which used to belong to Saadi Gaddafi and his football team and from which they were kicked out in 1993.

Zugdani and his friends stored their equipment for decades, waiting for the moment they could start again and teach a new generation. Some of them are still impressively fast.

The NTC has already given permission for classes to proceed and every day a dozen or more youngsters aged 7 and upwards attend after school, some dreaming of being the next Libyan champion.  You can read the full detail of the Reuters article HERE:

And the BBC put up a video on the same subject 5 hours after this article was posted on this site! Click HERE:

Perhaps  one of the most embarrassing pictures of the week:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Hilary Clinton wih the Guys - NTC Fighters - courtesy @4Adam

  And one of the more inspiring as our epic  guitarist,  keeps playing despite being injured in Sirte:

http://www.petercliffordnonline.com/libya-2

Epic Guitarist Keeps Playing in Sirte Despite Injury - courtesy @Feb17Libya

*******************************************

NTC CELEBRATE CONTROL OF BANI WALID – BUT WHERE ARE GADDAFI’S FIGHTERS?:

GADDAFI FORCES CONFINED TO “A FEW BUILDINGS” IN SIRTE BUT FIERCELY RESISTING:

BOTH HAGUE AND CLINTON VISIT TRIPOLI IN SPACE OF 24 HOURS BEARING “GIFTS”:

GADDAFI’S OFFICIAL IMAGE IRONICALLY BEING REPLACED ALL OVER LIBYA IN CARICATURE FEST:

TIMELINE – 18th October 2011 12.15 GMT:

In Bani Walid, where fighters now claim control of 90% of the town, noisy gun firing celebrations went on for 6 hours last night. 

NTC fighters have now occupied the central market, the hospital, the main hotel and an old fort that Gaddafi’s loyalists had used as a base.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

NTC Fighters Celebrate as Gaddafi's Compound Walls Come Down in Tripoli - Reuters

“Pockets of resistance” remain, say commanders and there is still fighting in some nearby villages.  The NTC now also control all the high buildings and Wadi Zeitoun, a steep sided valley which had been used by Gaddafi’s snipers. For the NTC fighters, after weeks of fighting, it was a moment of relief as much as anything, as gunfire, fireworks and car horns merged in a barrage of sound in streets full of damaged buildings and littered with empty bullet casings.  Reuters has video of the celebrations, including a pick up doing “wheelies” HERE: One NTC fighter with an AK 47 hanging from his shoulder hugged a medical worker and they both wept with joy. Fighters tore down Gaddafi’s green flags and hoisted the Free Libya Tricolour on the top of mosques and public buildings.  Musa Yunis, the overall NTC commander in Bani Walid, said this morning that most Gaddafi loyalist resistance had ceased by late Monday night.

“Gaddafi’s troops left their vehicles behind and even changed into civilian clothing so they would be hard to find,’ he said.  In a final operation on Monday NATO reports destroying a command and control node consisting of 9 military vehicles near Bani Walid.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

NTC Fighters Celebrate in Centre of Bani Walid

However, the sudden NTC advance does beg the question, ” What has happened to Gaddafi’s defending forces and where are they?”  There were reports yesterday that “500 prisoners” had been taken at Bani Walid but this has not been confirmed.

Moammar al-Warfali, a doctor at Bani Walid hospital, did confirm that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had been seen in Bani Walid a week ago. 

So where is he and his bodyguards in a town that was supposedly “surrounded”? Al Jazeera has a video report HERE:

GADDAFI FORCES CONFINED TO “A FEW BUILDINGS” IN SIRTE BUT FIERCELY RESISTING:

In Sirte yesterday NTC forces kept up their bombardment of Gaddafi’s last remaining positions with a stream of tank, shell and rocket fire.  The Gaddafi loyalists are believed to be restricted to just a few buildings, possibly including Mutassim Gaddafi among their number.

In another flood of residents leaving Sirte on Sunday a number of families belonging to known Gaddafi officials were identified, reportedly including the Mother and brother of Gaddafi’s spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Fierce Fighting Continues at Sirte - Reuters

Some tensions also arose yesterday at Sirte between NTC fighters from Misrata approaching the town from the west and Benghazi fighters approaching from the east, after a number of men were killed from both brigades in incidents of so called “friendly fire”.

15 supposed Gaddafi loyalists were arrested yesterday in Sirte, all of them dark skinned and possibly mercenaries.  The BBC has a video report on Sirte HERE:

This morning, Tuesday, Gaddafi’s forces launched another ferocious counterattack in Sirte and in the ensuing gun battle, NTC fighters suffered 23 injuries in the space of just 15 minutes.

BOTH HAGUE AND CLINTON VISIT TRIPOLI IN SPACE OF 24 HOURS BEARING “GIFTS”:

In Tripoli, William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, arrived to formally re-open the British embassy in Tripoli, albeit that it will be housed in temporary accommodation while the original building, petrol bombed by Gaddafi supporters in March, is rebuilt.

At a press conference, referring to Gaddafi regime fugitives, Hague said that the UK had been very active in reminding African countries of “their responsibilities … to apprehend and to hand over to Libya or the ICC any of those people who go onto their territory.”

Hague also said, following the report last week by Amnesty International, that he had raised the issue of the maltreatment of prisoners with the NTC leadership and they had assured him that were dealing with it. 

Hague announced too that the UK is to offer a further 50 hospital places to treat injured Libyans.

The BBC has a video which starts with a report on Bani Walid but then goes on to Hague’s visit – note the one piece of fine china left in the ruins of the British embassy! Click HERE:

The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton landed in Malta this morning for a brief meeting with Malta’s Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, to thank him for the tiny island’s help in supporting the NTC in their struggle for freedom and for being an effective staging post for the transfer of humanitarian aid.

Clinton is only the 2nd US Secretary of State ever to visit Malta, the last time being in 1989.

The Maltese in turn, who are struggling themselves dealing with all the injured coming out of Libya, are likely to request the assistance of a US hospital ship to be stationed offshore.

Moving on from Malta this morning, Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton has since landed in Tripoli for discussions with the NTC.  Her visit was unannounced for security reasons.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Hilary Clinton Arrives in Tripoli 18.10.11

Clinton is due to announce around $11 million of additional aid, including medical care for wounded fighters and the re-launching of several educational programmes including Fulbright Scholarships and english language training.

Around 15,000 people have been injured in the fighting and of these 1,500 are amputees requiring specialist assistance.  The last US Secretary of State to visit Libya was Gaddafi’s favourite, Condoleezza Rice, in 2008.

In Tunisia, the lawyer for former Libyan prime minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, who was in jail awaiting extradition back to Libya, says that his client has been moved to hospital following health complications.

Mahmoundi, who was on a fast in protest at his arrest and extradition order,  is diabetic and is now suffering heart problems.

In Mali, to the south of Libya, trouble has broken out near the desert border, where large numbers of Gaddafi’s Tuareg mercenaries have come back to their towns and villages.

Reports suggest that they have returned from Libya with large amounts of both small arms and heavy weaponry, including missiles and pick up trucks equipped with anti aircraft guns and heavy machine guns.

Around 400 armed men in 80 vehicles crossed the border from Libya on Saturday.

This is bad news for the Mali government who have had an ongoing dispute with the Tuareg tribesmen for many years.  On Sunday a Malian army sergeant was killed near the border and his vehicle stolen.

GADDAFI’S OFFICIAL IMAGE IRONICALLY BEING REPLACED ALL OVER LIBYA IN CARICATURE FEST:

Lastly, the deposing of Gaddafi, or  “Abu Shafshoufa” – frizzyhead as people now call him,  has released a whole new industry in irreverent memorabilia across Libya.

Ironically, Gaddafi’s official image which was ubiquitous across Libya, is now being replaced by caricatures which Libyans can’t help drawing. 

In one spoof magazine picture he is seen in a flesh coloured body stocking along with the other deposed presidents Mubarak from Egypt and Ben – Ali from Tunisia. In another pushing Saif in a wheelbarrow.

And everywhere are the rugs with his image, now down from the wall and being used as doormats.  The Guardian has the details: 

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/libya-2

Gaddafi and Friends in Body Stockings - guardian.co.uk

*****************************************

30 comments to

  • Tom Foster

    Hi Peter

    Just thanks, for your sustained commitment, and for your own reasons for that.

    I bet you’ve been waiting to be able to add Jabril’s definitive interview:

    “As Mahmoud Jibril says in this interview, the future must belong particularly to Libya’s young and Libya’s women. Click HERE:”

    and your own manifesto:

    “Without freedom of choice, freedom of expression, freedom and equality of opportunity and freedom to be or do what you most want in life, individuals cannot grow and become the very best that that can, thereby enhancing themselves and their potential and nurturing the society in which they live … I will do my small bit to encourage resistance and publicise abuse where I find it.”

    I very much look forward to

    “No doubt there will be plenty more I will write about on the evolving new Libya but I will also try and spend more of my time on the immediate problems of Syria and Bahrain.”

    • admin

      Thanks Tom, your comments much appreciated. Yes, Jibril’s remarks were welcome, I just hope women in Libya get a fair life under Sharia law. Taking it easier for a few days as you can imagine I have committed a lot of time to the “Libya Project” but hope to get to those other countries soon! Best wishes, PC.

  • shirley

    Hi Mr Clifford, I just want to Express my feelings here knowing the total freedom of Libya:) and also thank you so much for keeping us update about the Libya day to day event.now that is over….hope Libya will have a better and brighter future. congrats to all Libyans!

    • admin

      Hi Shirley, as always many thanks for your comments. I think we are all relieved that Libya is now free. I enjoyed the ride and hope to do more on Libya but also on other countries that now need our attention. Here’s to Libya and it’s freedom – it is up to them to devise and run their own future. Thanks for your support. Best wishes, PC.

  • Ahmed

    A great distillation of events and a labour of love. Thank you Mr Clifford for your noble efforts in shining a light on this great event in history that will afford Libya’s generations a better future. May I say a big thank you on behalf of all free Libyans.

    • admin

      My pleasure Ahmed and thank you for your comments, much appreciated. You must be proud to be Libyan, a great achievement. Now the hard work begins to develop a country of fairness, decency, democracy and tolerance. Best wishes, PC.

  • BOB HEATH

    HI,JUST A KWIK WORD TO COMMEND U ON A WELL PUT TOGETHER TIMELINE ON #GADDAFI AND ASSOCIATED INTRIGUE!!…CHEERS BOB ADELAIDE AUST.

  • shirley

    Hi Mr Clifford, we understand that you must be tired in updating news about khaddafi..you deserved a break:) we will missed you.

  • Mitch

    Thank you, Mr. Peter Clifford, for your dedication and thoroughly professional comprehensive coverage of the fullest of events that revolve around and in Libya. This was a wealth of information, compiling every form of source available. This gave the insight as if it were like the inside of a war room, with multiples maps, data and sources. This has raised the bar for journalism in covering events such as this. Never before has this type and level of information been available to the public in a timely manner. I do not know how to define the impact of the blogs but social media has made its mark. In specific, the significant impact came from blogs of quality when a personage such as Gerhard was participating. The technology today is superior to those who have it and deadly to those who do not possess it. The face of revolutions has changed dramatically for the governments, revolutionaries, media and public. We were viewing a war game, in real life, in real time. Thank you again for marshaling those resources to provide superior reporting.

    • admin

      Mitch, thank you very much for your comments. As you can appreciate there is a lot of work involved, but it makes it all worthwhile when I get reactions like yours. Having said that my server is down this morning and preventing me posting! Certainly this new technology is allowing us to communicate with people all around the world at great speed and with comprehensive information. Mind you, at the end of the day it is down to the integrity of the people who use it – some websites on Libya, for example, that I have read put out absurd information. Best wishes, PC.

  • Ali Zidan

    Mr. Clifford

    I would like to thank you on behalf of Libyan People for your effort for our cause, to show to your follower the real suffering of our nation.

    • admin

      My pleasure and I am sincerely glad that the Libyan people are free at last. Now the really hard work begins of re-constructing an effective democratic country where everyone is equal and is treated fairly and justly. Best wishes for your future. PC.

  • shirley

    I am so happy now that Libya is Free..congratulations to all libyans…allah akbhar!!

  • admin

    Firstly, do you have to shout? Secondly, I was only reporting news events, not making it up. Thirdly, I agree about Somali pirates. If NATO can get it together to sort Gaddafi out then why can’t they deal with a few pirates holding the world to ransom? Western countries, as are most others, are full of hypocrisy and change their policies to suit their needs. PC.

  • shirley

    Hi Mr Clifford, thank you so much for this site…i’ve been following the Latest Update of Libya thou…i am not from libya.I find it more interesting and a unique and a very historical.I dont have to waste my time to surf since your site has a complete report.really big thanks to you!!

    • admin

      Shirley, I have emailed you separately, but thanks again for your kind comments. Many people seem to be sharing your view judging from the number of visitors. Best wishes, PC.

  • I do not see the archive for other months, yet it looks like you have them; can you clarify where I can find them please? Much thanks, would like to reference in our archive.

    • admin

      Yes, archive under constuction as retaining on News page is not practicable. Have sent you a separate email. Many thanks for your interest, much appreciated.

  • Aitch

    Great feeds look forward to reading them thank you peter

  • Daniel

    Merci pour vos informations

    Un article intéressant

    Tchad/Libye : Le sultan au secours du « roi des rois » : Ndouné

    http://tchad2011.blogs.nouvelobs.com/archive/2011/07/28/tchad-libye-le-sultan-au-secours-du-roi-des-rois.html

  • Milagros Yepez

    Thank you Mr Clifford for such a complete report on Libya.There is information which is highly valuable to people who strongly believe that the time for a Free Libya has come ! I want to express our gratitude on behalf of former FB page Free Iman Al-Obeidi members,for your effort and professionalism . BTW I am Jerry_Jordan on twitter .

  • admin

    Hi, you have sent me this several times i.e. a direct, word for word, Spanish translation of one of my web pages. Why I am happy for people to reproduce my work, it would be nice of the original source of the the material was mentioned. I spend hours research material, sourcing pictures, rewriting and consolidating material, please email me via “Contact Me” if you would like to continue. Best wishes, PC

  • admin

    Hi, you have sent me this several times i.e. a direct, word for word, Spanish translation of one of my web pages. Why I am happy for people to reproduce my work, it would be nice of the original source of the the material was mentioned. I spend hours research material, sourcing pictures, rewriting and consolidating material, please email me via “Contact Me” if you would like to continue. Best wishes, PC

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