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Tripoli victory on hold
Col Muammar Gaddafi has vowed death or victory in the fight against
"aggression", reports say, after Libyan rebels seized his Tripoli
Pro-Gaddafi al-Urubah TV said the colonel - whose whereabouts remain
unknown - made an audio speech, saying the retreat from the Bab al-
Aziziya compound was a "tactical move".
The compound was one of the final areas under Col Gaddafi's control in
The rebels have been celebrating their gains in the capital's Green
TV footage also showed fighters breaking the head off a statue of the
Libyan leader and kicking it along the ground after capturing Bab al-
Aziziya on Tuesday. They also seized items from Col Gaddafi's home.
However, there are still pockets of resistance in the capital, including
the Abu Salim and al-Hadba districts, and near the Hotel Rixos, where
many foreign journalists are staying.
The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says there is a real sense that this is
the end of Col Gaddafi's rule, but the proper celebrations will not begin
until he and his family are found.
Many city residents are also still very much on the edge, wary of what
Col Gaddafi's regime might do, our correspondent says.
'Volcano and fire'
Speaking on a local Tripoli radio station on Wednesday, Col Gaddafi
pledged "martyrdom or victory" in the fight against Nato and the Libyan
rebels, al-Urubah said.
Col Gaddafi also said that his compound was destroyed by 64 Nato air
Al-Urubah also broadcast what it said was a live telephone interview with
government spokesman Musa Ibrahim.
He said Libya would be turned into a "burning volcano and a fire under
the feet of the invaders".
The spokesman also said that 6,000 volunteers had arrived to Libya to
fight for Col Gaddafi.
The claim has not been independently verified.
'Fled like rats'
On Tuesday morning, heavily armed rebel fighters streamed into the
capital in dozens of pick-up trucks to take part in the attack on Bab al-
After five hours of intense fighting, they breached one of the main gates
and then quickly overran the compound.
The rebels were shown destroying statues - including the iconic giant
golden hand crushing a US fighter jet - firing guns in the air in
celebration, and seizing weapons and ammunition from arms depots.
Col Gaddafi's Bedouin tent, where he used to receive visiting foreign
dignitaries, was set on fire, while his golf cart, in which he appeared
frequently, was paraded around the compound.
There were no obvious signs of resistance in the compound by Tuesday
evening, despite reports that hundreds of Gaddafi loyalists had been
tasked with guarding it.
"We have won the battle," Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the top rebel commander in
Tripoli, told al-Jazeera. "They fled like rats."
"We entered the tyrant's offices, his rooms, we searched everywhere, but
there was no-one."