Tripoli (Libya), Jul 9: An agitated Muammar Gaddafi lashed out at those seeking to push him from power, warning in an audio message broadcast on state TV that NATO and his other enemies will be trampled “under the feet of the Libyan masses.”
In the capital of Tripoli, meanwhile, thousands rallied in the main square for mass prayers and a show of support for Gaddafi.
The gathering in the capital's Green Square came a week after another large pro-government demonstration there, showing that Gaddafi can still muster significant support in his stronghold Tripoli.
Gaddafi has not been seen publicly in recent weeks, apparently keeping himself hidden so as not to be targeted by NATO airstrikes. After the broadcast of his speech yesterday evening, bursts of gunfire presumably in celebration were heard in Tripoli.
In his message, Gaddafi warned that all those challenging his regime would be defeated.
“The enemies of the masses will fall under the feet of the masses, under the marching of the masses,” said the embattled leader, his voice rising to a shout.
“The collaborators and traitors will fall east and west and NATO will fall under the feet of the Libyan masses, under the feet of the free Libyan people!”
Earlier, worshippers congregated under tents set up in Tripoli's Green Square to shield themselves from the hot midday sun. Some wore photos of Gaddafi around their necks, while others carried signs bearing his portrait. AP