Live Report: Gadhafi's rule 'crumbling' in Libya
Updated: 2011-08-22 06:39
US President Barack Obama said that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's rule in the country has come to an end, urging him to relinquish "power once and for all."
BBC reporter Matthew Price reports from the capital's Rixos Hotel: "The overall picture in Tripoli is patchy. There are certainly large areas, where the opposition is in control. But some areas are still under government control. However, one of the most vivid signs of the collapse of the Gaddafi regime is that government employees have been slowly leaving our hotel - the place from where Libya's state TV has been broadcasting."
If you are just joining us, it is currently just after 5 am in Libya. Col Gaddafi’s 41-year-rule over the country seems to be crumbling this morning. Gaddafi has said on state TV that he will not abandon Tripoli, urging Libyans to fight to the end. Thousands of rebel fighters have entered Green Square chanting and cheering as opposition forces across the country celebrate. Two of Gaddafi's sons have been arrested.
Celebrations are continuing in Tripoli's Green Square which has now been renamed Martyrs' Square by rebels. Crowds chanting and cheering can be seen on TV as sporadic gun fire is heard.
Rebel forces are trying to enter a hotel in Tripoli where international journalists are being held by government forces, Al Jazeera reports. Journalists tweeting from the hotel say there is heavy presence of government troops and gunfire can be heard.
US President Barack Obama says: "Tonight, the momentum against the Gaddafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Gaddafi regime is showing signs of collapsing," Reuters reports.
NTC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil urges rebel fighters to show restraint when dealing with captured Gaddafi loyalists, BBC reports.
He says: "Today, there is no difference between (Libyan) cities, there is no difference between Libyans. We will create history altogether, as we were all equal in suffering from dictatorship for 42 years, we need to be equal now in democracy. Libya is for everyone."
Libya's rebel leader Jalil says he will step down once Gaddafi regime has collapsed.
More on the Al-Jazeera interview with the eldest son of Muammar Gaddafi.
Mohammed, who has been detained by rebels and was being kept under house arrest in Tripoli, told the broadcaster "Gunmen surrounded my house and I am still at home and they are outside," he said by telephone from Tripoli. They said they will guarantee my safety. They are besieging my house," he added. The sound of gunfire could be heard in the background. "Yes, the gunfire is inside my house," he said before the line was suddenly cut off.
Al-Jazeera reports that its interview with Col Gaddafi's son, Mohammed, was abruptly cut off after he said there were gunmen surrounding his house.
Libya has entered into a new era by overthrowing the Muammar Gaddafi regime, said National Transition Council (NTC) Vice Chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga in a TV interview with Al Jazeera on Sunday night. "Tonight is historical," said Ghoga.
Libyan rebels seized control of the Libyan State Radio building in Tripoli overnight Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.
Gaddafi's son Saif arrested in Libya
The International Criminal Court prosecutor said on Sunday Saif al-Islam, the son of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, had been detained in Libya.
"Saif was captured in Libya," prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters. "We have confidential information from different sources that we have within Libya confirming this."
Libyan state TV is broadcasting recorded programmes, says its transmission jammed.
Gaddafi made two audio addresses over state television calling on Libyans to fight off the rebels.
"I am afraid if we don't act, they will burn Tripoli," he said. "There will be no more water, food, electricity or freedom."
Libyan rebels waved opposition flags and shot into the air in jubilation after reaching Tripoli's central Green Square, Sky news live footage from the scene showed in the early hours of Monday.