Conflict & Justice

Libya: Gaddafi vows to fight to the death (VIDEO)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed on Tuesday in a speech broadcast live on state television to fight to the end, after NATO intensified previously rare daytime air strikes on Tripoli.

In what was described by Reuters as the most sustained bombardment of the Libyan capital since Western forces began air strikes in March, a single bunker-busting bomb destroyed around seven buildings in the capital, the New York Times reports.

Gaddafi's vast Bab al-Aziziya residential compound came under "intensive continuous bombardment" as waves of NATO aircraft hit the Libyan capital.

Gaddafi, who was last seen on state television on May 30 meeting South African President Jacob Zuma, said, "We only have one choice: we will stay in our land dead or alive," CNN reported, quoting Libyan state television.

Referring to the planes flying overhead and explosions around him, Gaddafi reportedly said: "We are stronger than your missiles, stronger than your planes and the voice of the Libyan people is louder than explosions."

He said he was ready to unleash between 250,000 to 500,00 armed Libyans to cleanse the country to cleanse of "armed gangs," a reference to the rebels controlling the east of the North African oil producer, Reuters reports.

Musa Ibrahim, the government spokesman, meanwhile said Tuesday's blasts hit the popular guard compound and revolution compound, military barracks near Gaddafi's residence. Ibrahim said an attack Monday that hit state television buildings killed two people and wounded 16.

NATO disputed the account, CNN reports. "We did not target or hit the Libyan broadcast facilities. What we did target was the military intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli," the alliance reportedly said. "The story coming from Libyan officials that we targeted and hit the state broadcaster's building is bogus."

NATO officials have warned for days that they were increasing the scope and intensity of their two-month campaign to oust Gaddafi after more than 40 years in power, the Telegraph reports, adding that daylight raids signal an intensification of their efforts.