LIBYA: Moammar Kadafi says, 'People of Libya support me,' calls U.N. sanctions 'null and void'
Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi lashed out against international leaders calling for his resignation in an interview with a Serbian television station, and warned that anti-government protesters in the country were "surrounded."
In the interview, conducted by TV Pink, a Belgrade station, Kadafi said foreigners and Al Qaeda were to blame for the uprisings in Libya, and that protesters would "soon be dealt with," according to reports from Reuters. He added that the Libyan people were behind him, and that the small group of rebels had been surrounded.
"The people of Libya support me," he said.
Kadafi called for a United Nations commission to investigate the situation in Libya even as he said the sanctions the Security Council imposed against him Saturday were "null and void."
The statements come as fighting escalated in cities near Tripoli, including Zawiya and Sabratha. Kadafi has barred entrance to Tripoli and cleared protesters from the streets. Foreign governments, including Germany and Britain, have taken steps to evacuate civilians from the country, where they called the situation very dangerous.
Meanwhile, a group in Benghazi has created what it calls the National Libya Counci to support forces revolting against the government across the country. Its leaders said the council did not want foreign help, even as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was reaching out to groups in the eastern part of the country.
-- Alana Semuels
Photo: Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi in 2009. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times