Insurgents take control of Muammar Qaddafi's compound, ripping his portrait and climbing atop a statue marking the 1986 US attack on Tripoli
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Libya Audio: Scott Lucas on BBC "Assessing Latest in Tripoli...And What's Next" br>
Monday's Libya LiveBlog: The Last Push Against Former Leader Qaddafi
2100 GMT: Luke Harding of The Guardian offers a night-time summary of the situation in Tripoli:
It's absolutely horrific. Unfortunately we're in the residential area of Gargour and it's being defended with force from the rebels.
There is a bridge about 20 metres from where I am in the hospital, and one side of the bridge is pro-Qaddafi and one side of the bridge is anti-. They're chucking rocks and everything at each other, and it's just awful.
Last night there were massive rocket-propelled grenades and heavy arms fire, small arms fire, and that went on for about three to four hours.
The patients are absolutely petrified. And the staff are petrified.
We had rebels inside our compound last night and they said they were trying to protect us but they were actually trying to gain a better vantage point at some snipers across the road....
They are respecting the fact that it's a hospital although obviously we can't really function as one of those at the moment, because we're in the middle of this battle.
1940 GMT: Mahmoud Jibril, a senior member of the National Transitional Council, said tonight, "We need to heal and be united together, from every city, every neighbourhood." He promised, "After the transition and elections, people who suffered injustices will regain their rights."
Jibril told Libyans, "Justice will restore your reputation, to show the world you can build a modern nation....We should prove that we're up to this revolution and are able to build a modern country."
1922 GMT: Despite the festive atmosphere, the journalists in the Rixos hotel are still being held captive. According to CNN's Faith Muthoni Karimi, Matthew Chance is reporting that the journalists are waving a white flag out the window and trying to avoid Qaddafi loyalists who are still in the lobby. Meanwhile, Chance tweets this:
Former U.S. Congressman Fauntroy is amongst those holed up in #Rixos. Fauntroy was on a peace mission.
Hotel still under #Gadhafi control, even as celebrations spread nearby. It's been very quiet for the past hour, probably because it's iftar.
"We have taken Ras Lanuf. They just ran until the Red Valley," opposition spokesperson Mohammad Zawawi said, adding the Red Valley was in the direction of Sirte.
It is unclear if the pro-Qaddafi soldiers have disbanded or if they have retreated to Sirte. Many now believe that Sirte is still a pro-Qaddafi stronghold, and three scud missiles were launched from there today.
1850 GMT: The
picture video we've all been waiting for. One of the official NTC Twitter accounts asks, who wore it better:
1845 GMT: This freedom fighter tells James Bays that today is, "A day of freedom... A day of opportunity... A day to look forward to a great future."
1819 GMT: BREAKING NEWS, QADDAFI (golf cart) CAPTURED!
1754 GMT: According to Al Arabiya, Abdul Hakim Belhaj, leader of the opposition forces who took Tripoli, is now reporting that Bab al Aziziyah is 90% under opposition control, and the fighters have captured many of the weapons used by snipers in the region.
1751 GMT: Al Arabiya is reporting that opposition fighters have control of the State Intelligence Headquarters in Tripoli.
"Oh my God. I was in Gaddafi's room. Oh my God. I'm gonna take this." - guy on Sky News wearing Gaddafi's hat and gold chain.
As Al Jazeera arabic just put it, " I can say none of the civilians who entered left empty handed. They all got souvenirs."
Shooting around #Rixos; journalists moving upstairs to safety.
Waiting in the #Rixos. Gunfire inside the hotel. Going on air. #cnn #Rixos4
1731 GMT: Andrew Simmons reports on the efforts of the opposition fighters in Misurata to capture Tripoli:
1829 GMT: An Al Jazeera has reportedly been shot inside the Qaddafi compound. More details when we have them...
1710 GMT: Insurgents inside the Qaddafi compound kick the head of a gold statue --- modelled after the former regime leader?
1650 GMT: Al Jazeera shows an insurgent exiting a building in Bab Al Aziziya with a gold-plated Dragunov sniper rifle: "This is what Gaddafi killed us with."
1645 GMT: An insurgent climbs atop one of the iconic statues in the Qaddafi compound of Bab al-Azazia --- the statue is a response to the 1986 US air attack on Libya:
1630 GMT: Al Jazeera English's Zeina Khodr is now reporting that "hundreds" of insurgents rushed into the Qaddafi compound, and many were injured by sniper fire before they established a position inside Bal al-Azazia. She says that the fighters are now "celebrating, praying, chanting 'God is Great'. For them, this really is the end of the war, but we have to wait and see."
Khodr says smoke seen above the compound is coming from heavy weapons, such as Grad rockets and mortars, used by both sides. She reports that it took the insurgents three hours to remove one sniper, poised on a water tank at the entrance to Bab al-Azizia.
1610 GMT: The video is worth a thousand words. Al Jazeera is now showing opposition vehicles entering the compound, both civilian and military, and opposition fighters dancing on the famous "fist" statue inside the compound, the same statue that Qaddafi himself has given multiple speeches underneath.
1606 GMT: Multiple sources are reporting that there is VERY little resistance inside the Qaddafi compound, far less than what the opposition fighters were expecting. CNN' Sarah Sidner is saying that opposition is saying the fighters are now going "room to room", though video from the outside of the compound suggests that there is still a lot of ground to cover outside of the actual home.
1559 GMT: Al Jazeera Arabic is reporting that civilians have entered the Qaddafi compound. Opposition supporters have been yelling, over loud speakers, that they have control over the compound. However, there is no confirmation of any of those claims. At this point, elements of the Main Stream Media have television cameras are reporters near the front of this battle, so we will wait for that confirmation.
1541 GMT: James Bays is reporting that he believes the opposition fighters have entered the Bab al Aziziyah compound from two different locations, but he cautions that the compound is huge, the opposition fighters do not know it, Qaddafi's forces do know it well, and it is reportedly filled with tunnels and escape routes.
AFP is quoting a rebel colonel as saying the rebels control one of the gates to Muammar Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound. But is Gaddafi in there? Gaddafi's former close aide Abdel-Salam Jalloud, who defected earlier this month, said he thought the Libyan leader was moving around the outskirts of Tripoli, taking shelter in homes, small hotels, and mosques. But senior rebel official Ahmed Jebril said he thought Gaddafi was at the Bab al-Aziziya compound. "He was taken by surprise. He never expected the speed by which fighters have taken over Tripoli or the collapse of his forces. It was too quick. He was not prepared to leave Tripoli."
1526 GMT: To clarify, Al Jazeera is reporting, as is Sky News, that opposition fighters have broken through a hole in the outer wall (or a gate, confusing reports) of the Qaddafi compound. The compound is very large, and was fiercely defended, but Reuters is now reporting that the pro-Qaddafi fighters STOPPED fighting for the entry point. The opposition fighters have been seen firing bullets into the air in celebration.
The map below shows that this is a very large compound, but the outer wall has provide fortress-like protection for the pro-Qaddafi forces, so if it has fallen this is a significant blow to the last line of defense for Qaddafi's bunker.
If Muammar Qaddafi is inside, and Saif al Islam, his son, then their capture may be coming in the next 24 hours or less.
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1517 GMT: Multiple news agencies are reporting that Libyan opposition fighters are INSIDE the walls of Bab al Aziziyah, Qaddafi's very large compound. They have been firing weapons into the air. It is unknown how much progress they have made, but this is a major development, and marks a significant tactical defeat for those defending the compound.
1513 GMT: MSNBC reporter Richard Engel dodges bullets and provides some interesting insight, including that the opposition fighters are using the minaret sound systems to coordinate troop movements and attacks:
Russian chess federation chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov said on Tuesday Muammar Gaddafi had told him by telephone that he was still in Tripoli, alive and well, and had no plans to leave the city.
Ilyumzhinov, who has visited Libya during the NATO bombing campaign and met Gaddafi, said the leader's eldest son Mohammad had called him by telephone on Tuesday afternoon.
"He gave the phone to his father, who said that he is in Tripoli, he is alive and healthy and is prepared to fight to the end," Ilyumzhinov told Reuters by telephone.
"I am alive and healthy, I am in Tripoli and do not intend to leave Libya. Do not believe the lying reports by Western television companies," Kirsan Ilyumzhinov quoted Gaddafi as saying in the conversation, the Interfax news agency reported. - Agencies
1453 GMT: Some news agencies are still calling them "rebels," and Saif al Islam says that their back is broken, but the Guardian has posted an excellent report on the current tactical strenght of the opposition fighters. Large convoys of tanks, artillery, mortars, infantry, and other heavy equipment have arrived in Tripoli overnight. Britihs Special Service members and former SAS troops are advising the fighters on the final assualt on the Qaddafi compound in Bab al Aziziyah, and NATO is only taking a "tactical pause" before a resumed bombing campaign against the stronghold.
Last night boats landed 500 rebel fighters and 40 vehicles loaded with ammunition for opposition forces who are struggling to contain pro-Gaddafi units in the Libyan capital.
Meanwhile a convoy of rebel jeeps and artillery is driving up the coastal highway from Misrata to Tripoli. Rebels say the road is clear but under shell fire from government forces south of the road, and a separate operation is underway by opposition forces to push the frontline south.
South east of Misrata meanwhile rebels are braced for an attack by government troops from bases along more than 200 miles of coastline stretching to the oil town of Brega.
1411 GMT: James Bays reports, we believe about an hour ago, from Tripoli:
1405 GMT: Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr is reporting only 300 meters from Qaddafi's compound in Bab al-Azizyah, where she is confirming that NATO conducted airstrikes against the compound earlier this morning. According to the report, they may have done damage to the outer wall. Also, the rebel advance has been slowed by sniper fire, and the compound is launching Grad rockets, not against the opposition positions, but against the city of Tripoli itself.
France24's Cath Norris-Trent has this report:
Grad missiles falling on residential area of Tripoli, Libya, coming from direction of #Gaddafi compound Bab al-Azizia.
The battle ebbs and flows, but basically it has been a furious day with intense mortar fire, artillery fire, missiles all raining down on Gaddafi's compound. We tried to get out of the hotel about an hour ago but we were flipped back at a rebel check point. The rebel forces fired in the air and told us to clear off. It was not clear whether that was for our safety or they just didn't want us around.
The [mortar] fire is coming from the rebel positions and it is raining down on Bab al-Aziziya. It is not clear to me whether this is a battle or whether they are just pulverising it. It is a Stalingrad-style bombardment at the moment. The mood is extremely tense, but the rebels seem to be largely in control.
1324 GMT: More footage from the Associate Press of the fighting around the Qaddafi compound today:
"In Rixos huddled in basement of hotel. Incoming artillery fire in area around Gadhafi compound.
"Sniper took pot-shot at hotel & we all took cover. Journalists in Rixos are fine, keeping together but have limited perspective on news.
"Boiled up a pot of water & made some hot sweet tea to lift everybody's spirits."
1311 GMT: Al Jazeera is now reporting that the opposition fighters are within 500 meters of Qaddafi's compound in Bab al Aziziya, in Tripoli, and west of Brega they have taken control of the Bishr district, and they are stationed on the outskirts of the al-Eqaila district.
"Rebels enter the first gate into Bab Al-Aziziyah camp. Gaddafi's forces have pulled back to Sirte and Al Jafra in the south".
1245 GMT: Associated Press raw video of explosions and tracer fire in Tripoli:
1235 GMT: A map from the BBC of the fighting in Tripoli:
1230 GMT: Back from an academic break to find Al Jazeera reporting that insurgents have gotten through a gate into the Bab Al-Azaziya compound of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi --- the correspondent claims Qaddafi forces have pulled back to Sirte to the east and Al Jafra in the south.
Earlier loud explosions were heard near the compound. NATO said it has aircraft deployed over Tripoli but would not confirm it bombed Bab Al-Azaziya.
Heavy fighting has been reported in parts of the capital, with al-Mansoura seeing fierce battles as Qaddafi's forces reportedly use heavy weapons, including mortars and shells fired in the direction of Martyrs' Square.
CNN is reporting clashes north of Tripoli International Airport, along a main road into the capital which has two military installations along the road. Insurgents took control of the airport Monday.
0930 GMT: Two reports, punctuated by an interruption to take cover, from Luke Harding of The Guardian --- he describes opposition control of the "calmer" west of the capital "but here in the heart of Tripoli there is this just this almighty fight". Commenting on the re-appearance of Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, Harding says, "There isn't anywhere for them to go from here. I can't really see them recapturing the city. What I can envisage is them hanging on for some time, they have got a lot of ammunition, they've been expecting this, they've got heavy weaponry."
0820 GMT: In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera, Waheed Burshan, president of the National Transitional Council in Gharyan in northwestern Libya, insisted that Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam had been arrested, but he was unable to say how he subsequently escaped.
>0730 GMT: An animated map of the progress of the opposition across Libya since the uprising began on 17 February:
0430 GMT: With the military situation in Tripoli "settling" into continued fighting in a portion of the capital and foreign governments and leaders --- including US President Obama --- lining up to denounce the former regime and hail the National Transitional Council, we were going to title this morning's LiveBlog, "Where's Muammar?", considering the search for the former Libyan leader.
But then his son, Saif al-Islam, changed everything.
In an unexpected and most curious re-appearance, Qaddafi's son exited from a convoy of armoured Land Cruisers in front of the Rixos Hotel, now the home of many trapped foreign journalists. In one of the remaining areas held by pro-Qaddafi forces, Saif al-Islam said his father was safe in Tripoli and regime troops had "have broken the spines of those rats and those gangsters" who moved into the city this weekend.
Saif al-Islam had reportedly been detained on Sunday, along with his brother Mohammad, as insurgent fighters took over much of Tripoli and reached the heart of the capital, Green (now Martyrs') Square. Earlier on Monday, Mohammad Qaddafi was said to have been freed from his captors, but later in the day, there were claims that another son of the former Libyan leader, Saadi, had been taken by the insurgents.
Saif al-Islam said news of his arrest was a trick by the insurgents, as he had been travelling around Tripoli in the convoy. Repeating a line put out by state media and supportive outlets like Russia Today, he claimed that the regime had lured the opposition into Tripoli to bring them into the open and crush them.
Saif al-Islam's exit line after his brief statement was blunt: "To hell with the ICC." On Sunday, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Interational Criminal Court's chief prosecutor,said that he would seek Saif al-Islam's extradition --- this spring, he, his father, and Qaddafi's head of intelligence Abdullah Senussi had been charged with crimes against humanity.