Thousands killed in Libya unrest, says deputy UN ambassador Ibrahim DabbashiFrom correspondents in Tripoli
Feb 25, 2011
THOUSANDS of people have been killed in the Libya unrest, but strongman Muammar Gaddafi may kill himself rather than be caught by his opponents, Libya's deputy UN ambassador says.
"There are already thousands of people who have been killed, we expect more," said the diplomat, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who has turned against the Gaddafi regime.
Mr Dabbashi said that Gaddafi is "psychologically unstable".
"Gaddafi has the choice between being killed or commit suicide," said the envoy.
"He might seek to send some of his family members abroad but I believe he prefers to die in Libya because of his narcissistic character - he wants to act like a hero," he said.
His comments came ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on the Libya crisis. Western nations are pressing for international sanctions against Gaddafi's regime to force an end to the violence, which other accounts say has left hundreds dead.
Mr Dabbashi said "the dictator regime in Tripoli is in its last moments" and that thousands of people have headed for the main Martyrs Square in Tripoli in a standoff with Gaddafi's forces.
"The dictator, to show that he is still in control, he took all his army and his defenders to occupy the square before them," Dabbashi said.
"At the same time he sent terrorists in front of the demonstrators and they are shooting on all the demonstrators, trying to prevent them to move to the Martyrs Square."
The envoy said there are "mercenaries" from Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Chad and Ethiopia fighting with Gaddafi's forces.
The Libyan envoy said the international community has to "send a clear message" to Gaddafi to halt the violence.
"Otherwise I think he will continue his killings and today you will have thousands of people killed in Tripoli. It is time to stop this."
Dabbashi has previously called for the United Nations to order a no-fly zone over Libya to halt air attacks on demonstrators.
Gaddafis will 'live and die' in Libya
Gaddafi son, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, said his family will stay in Libya at all costs despite a bloody uprising shaking his father's regime.
"Our plan is to live and die in Libya,'' he told Turkey's CNN Turk news channel when asked whether his family had a "plan B" in the face of the simmering turmoil in the north African country.
Speaking with a voiceover translation to Turkish, he admitted the regime had lost grip of eastern Libya, but said the authorities would soon regain control of the region.
"There are over two million people in this area, the number of terrorists is 200 or 300 at most. People call us and beg for help. ... We cannot allow a handful of terrorists to control that part of Libya and its people," he said.
"Not the army but the whole nation will resolve this problem," he said when asked whether the military could attack the flashpoint city of Benghazi.
Seif al-Islam also targeted the media and especially Arab news channel Al Jazeera for what he called "lies" on civilian deaths and the activities of African mercenaries helping the regime.
"All fabricated news come from one channel, Al Jazeera. We know the reason," he said, accusing the channel of "supporting" terrorist groups.
He blamed "small terrorist groups" for provoking the turmoil, insisting that the Gaddafi family had no problem with street demonstrations.
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