Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi speaks on national television from Tripoli in this February 22, 2011 still image taken from video footage. Gaddafi said on Tuesday he would not step down despite a nationwide revolt against his rule, vowing to die in Libya as a martyr and threatening tougher action against protesters.
Egyptians carry their belongings as they transit the Sallum border crossing with Libya on February 22, 2011. Egypt sent military planes to Tripoli to evacuate up to 1.5 million Egyptians trapped in Libya’s violent uprising as thousands dashed to the border hoping to make their way home.
Libyan interior minister resigns
Libyan Interior Minister Abdel Fatah Yunes has resigned as protests against embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi continue, despite the government’s violent crackdown.
“I announce my resignation from all my duties in response to the revolution of February 17,” AFP quoted Yunes as saying on Tuesday.
The interior minister’s resignation comes as the harsh repression of protesters continues.
But Gaddafi remains defiant, vowing to use all his power to crush the revolution and saying he will fight “to the last drop of his blood.”
British Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have condemned the bloody crackdown on protesters and have asked Libya to stop the violence.
European Union states are discussing a proposal to impose sanctions on Gaddafi’s regime, although Italy has signaled disagreement, fearing at least 300,000 Libyan migrants could seek refuge in the country, Italy’s ANSA news agency said.
The United Nations Security Council has held emergency talks on the current crisis in Libya at the request of the Libyan deputy ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who has expressed indignation over the repression of protesters.
Pundits say the Libyan regime’s heavy-handed clampdown on the people seems to have seriously backfired since the anti-government demonstrations have actually gained momentum across the country.
Also on Tuesday, protesters reportedly clashed with government forces in Sabratha — which is located near the capital Tripoli — where thousands of soldiers have been deployed to quell the demonstrations. PressTV