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LIBYA: Tripoli resident describes pro-Kadafi sniper attack, capture

Photo: Moammar Kadafi's Bab Azizia compound in Tripoli appears in this satellite image taken and released Tuesday. Libyan rebels sacked Kadafi's Tripoli bastion Tuesday, seizing weapons and smashing symbols of his nearly 42-year dictatorship. Credit: Reuters/DigitalGlobe Maram Wafa, 26, detailed her dramatic day spent dodging bullets and catching snipers during a phone call from Tripoli early Wednesday posted online by the Feb17voices group.

"The last 24 hours has been very hard for us," Wafa said.

Timeline: Rebellion in Libya  

She said she had a bird's-eye view of Moammar Kadafi's Bab Azizia complex from her home, where she watched rebels arrive. (Wafa, who describes herself as French Libyan and appears to have spoken with NPR in recent days, prefers to call the rebels "free men.")

Soon after, she and her neighbors started having problems with snipers, she said.

"We started to get a lot of fire, but we didn't know where it was coming from," Wafa said.

She and her aunts went up on a rooftop, located the snipers and reported their location to rebels, she said. Then some of the snipers tried to flee, running toward her house, she said.

Photos: Battle for Kadafi's compound

"They jumped in my garden, two of them, and they tried to escape from my garden," she said.

Some rebels came into her house and managed to catch the six snipers, who Wafa said had been paid to attack residents.

"When I think of it now, it's pretty reckless, but I don't regret it," she said. "Fear disappears completely. I was just fearless. Maybe you can call it careless also. I don't know, there's something in you that comes out. I'm under a good star."

As fighting raged during the day, she said, her house was hit, and officials at nearby mosques warned residents through loudspeakers to evacuate.

Wafa stayed.

Rebels mounted a checkpoint near her house, she said, but she did not yet feel safe early Wednesday.

"Now the neighborhood is quiet," she said. "But the streets are not safe."

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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Moammar Kadafi's Bab Azizia compound in Tripoli appears in this satellite image taken and released Tuesday. Libyan rebels sacked Kadafi's Tripoli bastion Tuesday, seizing weapons and smashing symbols of his nearly 42-year dictatorship. Credit: Reuters/DigitalGlobe

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