Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Libya's Muammar Gaddafi Remains Defiant

Libya's Muammar Gaddafi Remains Defiant - Militiamen loyal to Muammar Gaddafi clamped down in Tripoli on Wednesday, but cracks in his regime spread elsewhere across the nation as the rebellion controlling much of eastern Libya claimed new gains closer to the capital.

Two pilots let their warplane crash in the desert and parachuted to safety rather than bomb an opposition-held city.

The opposition said it had taken over Misrata, which would be the largest city in the western half of the country to fall into its hands.

Clashes broke out over the past two days in the town of Sabratha, west of the capital, where the army and militiamen were trying to put down protesters who overwhelmed security headquarters and government buildings, a news website close to the government reported.

The two air force pilots jumped from parachutes from their Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jet and let it crash rather than carry out orders to bomb opposition-held Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, the website Quryna reported, citing an unidentified officer in the air force control room.

One of the pilots – identified by the report as Ali Omar Gaddafi – was from Gaddafi’s tribe, the Gadhadhfa, said Farag al-Maghrabi, a local resident who saw the pilots and the wreckage of the jet, which crashed in a deserted area outside the key oil port of Breqa.

Libya's Muammar Gaddafi Remains Defiant

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