Muammar Gaddafi still poses a danger for Libya and the world, the head of the Libyan rebels has said.
National Transitional Council (NTC) head Mustafa Abdul Jalil yesterday said Nato and other allies must continue supporting rebels against the “tyrant” Gaddafi.
The rebels have taken the small town of Nofilia on their way to the Gaddafi stronghold – and hometown – of Sirte.
Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown since rebels swept into Tripoli last week, capturing his compound.
They already control most of Libya, after months of clashes since the first protests began.
Speaking at a meeting of defence chiefs in Qatar, Jalil said Gaddafi’s forces could still wage brutal counter-attacks even as rebel forces pushed into the last pockets of resistance by pro-Gaddafi troops.
“Gaddafi’s defiance of the coalition forces still poses a danger, not only for Libya, but for the world. That is why we are calling for the coalition to continue its support,” Jalil said at the meeting in Doha.
Rebels say they are in talks with Sirte’s tribal elders to avoid bloodshed, but so far they have been unsuccessful.
It may be that tribal leaders have fresh in their minds the warning Gaddafi broadcast last week, to the effect that rebels were converging on the town to loot and rape the women, reports the BBC’s Paul Wood who is with the rebels headed towards Sirte.
It is only a matter of time before the rebels reach the outskirts of Sirte. It is very heavily-defended. The suggestion is that one of Gaddafi’s sons is commanding the militia there.
If the rebels try to enter the town by force there is likely to be a blood bath, according to one commander here.