Libya rebels say they control parts of Tripoli

Updated: 2011-08-21 20:22

(Agencies)

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Libya rebels say they control parts of Tripoli

Libya's leader Muammar Gadhafi looks on during a news conference at the Quirinale palace in Rome in this June 10, 2009 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

"Rats eliminated"

In an audio recording broadcast soon after midnight, Gaddafi sought to show residents he was still in control.

"Those rats ... were attacked by the masses tonight and we eliminated them," Gaddafi said. "I know that there are air bombardments but the fireworks were louder than the sound of the bombs thrown by the aircraft."

A senior British official said Gaddafi did not grasp the pressure that he was under.

"It's been clear that Gaddafi has not had a firm grip on reality -- as we heard from his comments last night -- and has not been interested personally in leaving or negotiating," said Alastair Burt, a foreign office minister.

"But those around him have continued to defect."

"That pressure indicates that those around Gaddafi know what's going on. One can only hope that they're getting messages through to him," Burt told the BBC.

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