23/08/2011 World News Today


23/08/2011

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Philippa Thomas. The battle for

:00:15.:00:20.

Tripoli intensifies. Opposition fighters storm into Colonel

:00:20.:00:24.

Gaddafi's compound. Scenes of rebel jubilation as they control the

:00:24.:00:28.

compound. They believe it is the end of decades of dictatorship.

:00:28.:00:34.

the rebels they are there in his front door. They are there shouting

:00:34.:00:38.

Allah is great. There is no sign of the Libyan leader and his sons, but

:00:39.:00:44.

NATO says it is clear that Colonel Gaddafi will soon be history.

:00:44.:00:49.

the Gaddafi regime this is the final chapter. The end is near. And

:00:49.:00:54.

events are moving fast. But hours earlier one of Colonel

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Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam, appeared before cheering supporters,

:00:58.:01:08.
:01:08.:01:13.

saying his father was safe and Hello and welcome.

:01:13.:01:16.

The battle for Tripoli rages on. There have been scenes of rejoicing

:01:16.:01:19.

in the past few hours as opposition fighters have taken control of

:01:19.:01:22.

Colonel Gaddafi's compound, his power base in the heart of the

:01:22.:01:30.

capital, and destroyed much-hated symbols of Gaddafi's regime. We are

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going to bring you right up to date now. My colleague, Lyse Doucet, has

:01:35.:01:41.

reached Tripoli. Over to her. Welcome to the Libyan capital,

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Tripoli. I'm deuce deuce duties. We are here on a day when after more

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than six months of bloody battle across this country, the battle for

:01:52.:01:57.

the capital, Tripoli, the prize, has taken a decisive turn. The

:01:57.:02:01.

rebels have now overrun the Bab Al- Aziziya compound. It means the

:02:01.:02:09.

Arabic, the Splendid Gate. The compound sprawls for miles across

:02:09.:02:16.

this capital. It seems the compound was impregnable and yet the rebels

:02:16.:02:21.

took it, with little resistance. It began earlier today when rebels in

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pick-up trucks bristling with guns streamed into the capital. They

:02:25.:02:28.

breached one of the walls and within a matter of time they were

:02:28.:02:33.

inside. Ever since then, this capital has resonated to the sound

:02:33.:02:37.

of celebrity fire. When we drove into the capital a short time ago,

:02:37.:02:42.

there were celebrations all along the road. The battle may not be

:02:42.:02:47.

over yet. Libyans say they can't truly celebrate until they know

:02:47.:02:53.

where is Colonel Gaddafi, the man who has ruled this country 41 years.

:02:53.:02:58.

Only a few more years to go before he would have reached 42 years.

:02:58.:03:02.

Where are his sons, including Saif al-Islam? These are still questions

:03:02.:03:07.

that have to be answered. Today was a decisive victory for the rebels.

:03:07.:03:11.

My colleague, Rupert Wingfield- Hayes, now reports. GUNFIRE

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This is the moment millions of Libyans have been waiting for

:03:15.:03:22.

through six months of bitter fighting and 42 years of brutal

:03:22.:03:26.

dictatorship. The Libyan leader's skpound has been smashed to pieces

:03:26.:03:31.

by NATO bombing but the rebels found plenty to take their anger

:03:31.:03:35.

out on. Earlier this afternoon they had swarmed around the compound

:03:35.:03:39.

walls as NATO jets swept in and pounded it again from above. But

:03:39.:03:44.

with his compound now in rebel hands, there is still no sign of

:03:44.:03:53.

Colonel Gaddafi himself. We watched as the Brigade set out from western

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Tripoli at lunch time. After yesterday's set-backs their spirits

:03:57.:04:04.

are once again high. They believe the end is close. The rebel flag is

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now flying over more and more neighbourhoods of Tripoli. Bit by

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bit the rebels are taking control. So this is what we've been finding

:04:13.:04:16.

as we've driven into the western part of Tripoli this morning. These

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men have formed themselves into a local militia. They all come from

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this neighbourhood. They know each other. They've armed themselves.

:04:22.:04:27.

They are setting is up checkpoints to defend their neighbourhoods from

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Gaddafi's militia. Last night they killed a Gaddafi gunman in this car.

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Last Then he taunts Saif al-Islam to come to this neighbourhood.

:04:43.:04:48.

here shoot a man. I swear to God we die soon. After months of fear

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people are coming back out on to the streets here, including this

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British woman out driving for the first time in weeks. And yet

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there's been heavy fighting in the middle of the city. And I'm sure

:05:01.:05:06.

there will be, because his hard- liners are there, who will die for

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him. Everyone is in their houses waiting to come out. Really, we are

:05:11.:05:14.

celebrating indoors. It is frustrating. It is bad news about

:05:14.:05:18.

Saif al-Islam, but believe me the Libyan people are 90% with the

:05:18.:05:22.

opposition. Even military officers have joined the rebellion,

:05:22.:05:26.

disgusted at being ordered to attack civilians. How long do you

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think it will take before he is defeated? Maybe two nights, maximum

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two days. It has been a long, hard and bloody road for these rebels

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over the last six months. They are now all desperate for this bloody

:05:43.:05:53.

conflict to be over. It is too soon to say this war is

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over. You will remember the ecstatic scenes in some parts of

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Tripoli on Sunday night when rebels came into the capital declaring

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victory. There were reports at the time that Saif al-Islam, Colonel

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Gaddafi's son, widely regarded as his heir apparent, had been

:06:09.:06:12.

arrested and would soon be handed over to the International Criminal

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Court. My colleague Matthew Price was indeed surprised when he ran

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into Saif al-Islam yesterday at the Rixos Hotel, not far from the Bab

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Al-Aziziya, yesterday. In the dark of the Tripoli night,

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Saif al-Islam emerged from the shadows, clearly not under rebel

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arrest and here, he said, to dismiss the rumours. TRANSLATION:

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NATO and the West has high- technology. They stopped TV

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broadcasting and radio. They have launched electronic warfare, and

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through media they have managed to smugle into the country gangs and

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somebody tours. But the Libyan people, men and women, has stood

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firm against them and managed to break the backbone of the rebels

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and rats and gangs. GUNFIRE He took a foreign cameraman on a

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tour of part of the city. They drove past checkpoints controlled

:07:14.:07:20.

by Gaddafi loyalists, passed groups of people lining up to be given

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weapons. It was a short drive, but covered a sizeable area around

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Colonel Gaddafi's compound and the south-eastern part of the Tripoli.

:07:29.:07:35.

Clearly these are in Government hands. It is our country. It is our

:07:35.:07:40.

people. We live here and we die here. We are going to win, because

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the people are with us. Saif al- Islam's convoy has just left here.

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Away from our camera he told us that he - supporters of Colonel

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Gaddafi coming in. He told us they had broken the backbone of the

:07:54.:07:59.

rebels. We gave them a hard time so we are wing, he said. Asked about

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his father, Colonel Gaddafi, is he safe and well and in Tripoli, he

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said, "Yes, of course." Saif al- Islam was pumped full of adrenaline

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and was smiling. It is clear loyalists are fighting back in

:08:13.:08:17.

parts of Tripoli. The sudden appearance of Saif al-Islam said

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just yesterday to have been captured by the rebls will only

:08:21.:08:31.
:08:31.:08:33.

embolden them further. -- rebels.

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Parts of Tripoli exploded in celebration with the celebrity

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gunfire. This area is now plunged into darkness. In other parts of

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the city we can see the lights are still on. What are residents of

:08:47.:08:52.

this city thinking now? You will know from our coverage over the

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past months that our correspondents have seen the demonstrations in

:08:57.:09:07.
:09:07.:09:09.

support of this. What is the future for this truly divided city? James

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Robbins supports. The battle for Tripoli remains intense. As rebels

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try to push Gaddafi's forces into smaller and smaller pockets of the

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capital. As long as the battle rages civilians are still at grave

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risk. We've been hearing from a section of this front line, where

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Karen Graham, a nurse from done Barton, is part of a nursing team

:09:32.:09:42.
:09:42.:10:10.

overwhelmed by casualties. It is From a variety of credible sources

:10:10.:10:15.

it seems that large and expanding parts of the capital are in rebel

:10:15.:10:18.

hands, although not necessarily entirely secure. These are some of

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the areas where Gaddafi has lost control since last Sunday. But

:10:23.:10:27.

tonight the big breakthrough for the rebels. They stormed gad

:10:27.:10:30.

aftery's fortified compound close to the Rixos Hotel, where some

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foreign journalists are based and where Saif al-Islam appeared last

:10:34.:10:38.

night. You can see the outer wall now breached by the rebels, who

:10:38.:10:43.

have overrun the entire area. In one corner a substantial military

:10:43.:10:47.

installation hit by NATO missiles weeks ago. And at the centre the

:10:47.:10:51.

area used for scores of Gaddafi rallies over the years, where

:10:51.:10:56.

rebels have been pulling down Gaddafi's statues. The symbolism of

:10:56.:11:00.

this compound is immense, so taking it has great significance. The

:11:00.:11:05.

rebels also seem to have entered one of Tripoli's airports. This

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footage can't be verified. It is a possible escape route for Colonel

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Gaddafi, whose whereabouts are still unknown. NATO is clear the

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tide against him has overwhelmingly turned. For the Gaddafi regime this

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is the time chapter, the end is near and events are moving fast.

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What's clear to everybody is that Gaddafi is history and the sooner

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he realises it the better. battle for Tripoli is still not

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over, which means the rebels cannot yet move their headquarters from

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the eastern city of Benghazi and start rebuilding Libya on new-

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foundations. We are getting reports that tonight

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the National Transitional Council in Benghazi is even planning to

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come to Tripoli as early as tomorrow to start setting up a new

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administration. They've said that before. We'll have to see what the

:12:00.:12:03.

city looks like tomorrow in the broad light of day. But certainly

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the big question is, who will run Libya now, and how will it be run?

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After decades of Colonel Gaddafi's green revolution, where he

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basically did away with all the institutions of a normal

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functioning state and ruled through his popular revolutionary committee.

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Who are these rebel leaders and what new ideas will they bring to

:12:25.:12:30.

this country? Paul Wood reports from the eastern city of Benghazi,

:12:30.:12:34.

the stronghold of the rebels and their headquarters.

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They are students, businessmen, teachers. Most holding a gun for

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the first time. They rose up with no outside help. And they would

:12:42.:12:48.

have been crushed but for NATO's help. Now the rebels stand on the

:12:48.:12:54.

brink of victory. Already recognised by many as Libya's elect

:12:54.:12:58.

mat Government. Are they united? The rebels National Transitional

:12:58.:13:02.

Council is a mix of factions, with little more in common than dislike

:13:02.:13:07.

of Colonel Gaddafi. It is an uneasy coalition, between the east and the

:13:07.:13:11.

west of the country, Islamist and secular, former members of the

:13:11.:13:17.

regime and long-standing exiles. That's going to be a potpourri of

:13:17.:13:25.

different ideas and ideologies. If they all work within a constitution

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everyone is free to have their own thoughts and say what they think.

:13:28.:13:34.

So will the rebels succeed? First they need to remove Gaddafi and

:13:34.:13:37.

their credibility was badly dented when his son, Saif al-Islam,

:13:37.:13:42.

appeared in Tripoli. The rebels had said he was in custody. But even if

:13:42.:13:47.

Saif al-Islam and his father are sent to The Hague a new Government

:13:47.:13:52.

will need many of those who fought for them. We've learned experience

:13:52.:13:57.

from the eastern side in Benghazi, where the police and the security

:13:57.:14:03.

people left their jobs and we had a problem to bring them back. No, in

:14:03.:14:08.

Tripoli we will not do that. They are a measured part of rebuilding

:14:08.:14:12.

the security infrastructure. rebel political leadership have

:14:12.:14:17.

said there can be no revenge killings of Gaddafi loyalists. They

:14:18.:14:21.

would risk losing the support of NATO countries who had got them

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this far, and undermine the legitimacy of the new Government.

:14:25.:14:30.

So no single, forceful and charismatic political personality

:14:30.:14:35.

has emerged, somebody who can perhaps heal the divisions. But

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after more than four decades of rule by Colonel Gaddafi, Libyans

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may feel another strongman is exactly what they don't want.

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The rebels insist the changeover of power will happen within the rule

:14:48.:14:52.

of law. There can be no blood bath in Tripoli. The character of the

:14:52.:15:02.
:15:02.:15:03.

Libyan revolution will be tested and revealed in the coming days.

:15:04.:15:09.

Paul Wood joins us from Benghazi. We are hearing reports here that

:15:09.:15:12.

the National Transitional Council could try to come here as early as

:15:12.:15:22.
:15:22.:15:40.

That was always the original plan. The intention is that symbolically,

:15:40.:15:45.

they want the country to beat United in the bold capital. They

:15:45.:15:52.

always underlined the fact that they are making temporary camp in

:15:52.:15:58.

Benghazi, but want to get to Tripoli as quickly as possible.

:15:58.:16:08.
:16:08.:16:13.

When we say the council will be coming, who does that mean?

:16:13.:16:23.
:16:23.:16:24.

head of the council is out of Libya at the moment. They have been

:16:24.:16:28.

preparing for this moment for a long time. They have been talking

:16:28.:16:35.

to experts from countries like Britain. When they have achieved

:16:35.:16:42.

victory, I think the immediate task will be to stop those revenge

:16:42.:16:48.

killings. That is such a priority for the head of the National

:16:48.:16:51.

Transitional Council that he has threatened to resign if his

:16:51.:16:56.

military commanders do not followed through with that. They have a

:16:56.:17:03.

special unit, which is moving in with the specific task of securing

:17:03.:17:07.

a infrastructures and government buildings, making sure Tripoli does

:17:07.:17:15.

not undergo the same disorder that Baghdad had in 2003. That will

:17:15.:17:21.

undermine the legitimacy of any new government. I imagine there will be

:17:21.:17:29.

much more cautious end up their reporting. There were embarrassing

:17:29.:17:35.

reports that they had captured Saif Al-Islam, for example. I put that

:17:35.:17:41.

to a spokesman, and he said the credibility of the National

:17:41.:17:44.

Transitional Council had been dented. They all felt very bad

:17:44.:17:52.

about it. The explanation is torturers: There were agents

:17:52.:18:01.

wearing rebel uniforms, and they have given out misinformation on

:18:01.:18:04.

behalf of the loyalists. That is the explanation they are sticking

:18:04.:18:09.

with today. It does not bear sceptical inquiry, and they

:18:10.:18:19.
:18:20.:18:20.

realised this has been a bad blow to their credibility. What is their

:18:20.:18:24.

policy when it comes to what to do about Colonel Gaddafi ones we know

:18:24.:18:33.

where he is? -- once we know. They also talked about putting these

:18:33.:18:37.

senior people on trial, and some are indicted by the International

:18:37.:18:42.

Criminal Court. The message from the leadership is that whatever is

:18:42.:18:48.

done it must be within the rule of law and with respect for the Libyan

:18:48.:18:52.

constitution. They do not want to see the streets running a red with

:18:52.:19:00.

blood, they do not want to start a new civil war. It is a rather more

:19:00.:19:06.

difficult question about exactly what will happen to him. Some rebel

:19:06.:19:11.

spokesman for said they will co- operate with the Hague, others have

:19:11.:19:17.

said no, he should be tried in the Libyan court. This is an issue to

:19:17.:19:21.

be decided by a new government. They are adamant it will be a trial

:19:22.:19:26.

and not an execution, but where that trout takes place still

:19:26.:19:36.
:19:36.:19:38.

remains to be seen. -- that trial. Benghazi has been the headquarters

:19:38.:19:43.

for the National Transitional Council. That is how it all looks

:19:43.:19:52.

here and in this hour. -- here in this hour. We have seen months of

:19:52.:19:58.

conflict, at months of key cities going back and forth. Having

:19:58.:20:04.

travelled through southern and Libya, bet are areas where there is

:20:04.:20:10.

fighting between being rebels and Colonel Gaddafi loyalists. Other

:20:10.:20:19.

parts of the roads were taking part in negotiations. But tonight, there

:20:19.:20:26.

is a very loud celebration. They have taken one of the last as

:20:26.:20:31.

strong not in the capital of Colonel Gaddafi. But no confirmed

:20:31.:20:38.

reports of the colonel about -- the whereabouts of Colonel Gaddafi and

:20:38.:20:48.
:20:48.:20:55.

his son. Some breaking news now: The east

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coast of the US has been hit by an earthquake. We understand it was

:21:02.:21:07.

centred in the state of Virginia. It shook much of Washington DC.

:21:07.:21:12.

Part of the Pentagon, White House and buildings were evacuated. We

:21:12.:21:15.

will bring you more on that as we get it.

:21:15.:21:25.
:21:25.:21:28.

A for now, we will continue with our coverage of Libya.

:21:28.:21:38.

You commanded a NATO brigade in Bosnia. Your analysis, things are

:21:38.:21:43.

unfolding as they speak. But what is the state of play for the rebels

:21:43.:21:49.

in Libya? They are attempting to consolidate their control in

:21:49.:21:54.

Tripoli itself. They are doing quite a bit of mopping up as well

:21:54.:22:00.

with regard to Gaddafi's compound. Although they have captured the

:22:00.:22:04.

surface of the compound, we cannot know whether they have cleared all

:22:04.:22:10.

the tunnels and buildings. I suspect, also, they have to

:22:10.:22:15.

consider about the other areas where regime forces are holding out.

:22:15.:22:25.
:22:25.:22:25.

The town of Brega, for example. Coming back to the compound itself,

:22:25.:22:33.

do you think it is too soon to say the rebels are in control of bet? -

:22:33.:22:39.

- of it? You have summarise did very well. They are in control of

:22:39.:22:49.
:22:49.:22:49.

the surface, it would appear. He there will be a practical point,

:22:49.:22:55.

there may well be unexploded rockets or bombs there. And who

:22:55.:22:59.

knows whether there are regime forces and officials still holding

:22:59.:23:07.

out. And resume its resources in a sense of any last stand there could

:23:07.:23:14.

be taken by Gaddafi's family or his henchmen. Is there any danger of

:23:14.:23:24.
:23:24.:23:24.

chemical, biological weaponry? would imagine that Gaddafi have --

:23:24.:23:31.

has close protection and bodyguards. But I imagine the rebels would be

:23:31.:23:38.

attempting to negotiate a surrender, particularly as the Benghazi

:23:38.:23:44.

authority would seek to bring Gaddafi to justice. On chemical and

:23:44.:23:48.

biological weapons, we have no evidence that Libya ever had

:23:48.:23:53.

biological weapons. When they came out of the colt, they did declare

:23:53.:23:59.

they had chemical weapons. -- out of the cold. A high proportion of

:23:59.:24:09.
:24:09.:24:10.

those were decommissioned. If they have not been maintained, they may

:24:10.:24:19.

well have deteriorated, and might be a great hazard. As the Libyan

:24:19.:24:25.

Air Force seems to have been destroyed, we would also have to

:24:25.:24:30.

question their ability to deliver them. If they were to use them to

:24:30.:24:36.

military effect, or blind vengeance, they should have used them earlier

:24:36.:24:46.
:24:46.:24:47.

in the war. What about NATO's wore a -- role in all of this? It is

:24:47.:24:56.

harder for them to come to play. Don't forget that politically, made

:24:56.:25:04.

a's military mission is to protect civilians. -- NATO's. NATO is

:25:04.:25:11.

taking measures to co-ordinate its air strikes with the rebel forces.

:25:11.:25:16.

A NATO spokesman admitted there were allied troops on the ground

:25:16.:25:23.

playing a role in co-ordinating his. But this is difficult stuff. It

:25:23.:25:28.

maintains quite a lot of training. I think that is beyond the

:25:28.:25:35.

credibility of the rebel forces on the ground. Even so, it carries a

:25:35.:25:40.

risk of civilian casualties. NATO is probably concentrating its

:25:40.:25:44.

resources on other things, for example carrying out surveillance

:25:44.:25:52.

on the rest of Libya. I imagined it is also trying to cut down on its

:25:52.:26:00.

missile launchers. We will go back to Tripoli now. Our

:26:00.:26:04.

Middle East correspondent joins us on the line. Give us an idea of

:26:04.:26:10.

what is happening around you. Darkness is falling here, and I had

:26:10.:26:20.
:26:20.:26:23.

to withdraw from the compound. Gaddafi's owner troops started

:26:23.:26:30.

firing into the crowd. -- owner troops. He it is very difficult to

:26:30.:26:35.

hear what you are saying. We are having problems with the technology

:26:35.:26:43.

will stop we will try and come back to you. We should explain to allow

:26:43.:26:51.

viewers we have continuing coverage of what is happening in Tripoli. We

:26:51.:26:59.

also have news coming in of an earthquake, 5.8 magnitude, centred

:26:59.:27:07.

in the state of Virginia. We are showing you some pictures of

:27:07.:27:12.

Tripoli now, but I wanted a new that also, the US aviation

:27:12.:27:22.
:27:22.:27:24.

authorities have a evacuated control towers. We will continue to

:27:24.:27:29.

turn you what is happening on the east coast of the US, and what is

:27:29.:27:34.

happening in North Africa, and Tripoli. We will get our

:27:34.:27:38.

correspondence on the ground and bring you all we have, and reaction

:27:38.:27:46.

on both those fronts. So it, continue to watch BBC World. But

:27:46.:27:56.
:27:56.:28:05.

Hallowed, South East England it dodged it the worst of the

:28:06.:28:10.

thunderstorms. Elsewhere, along with sunshine, there will be shut

:28:10.:28:19.

was. Those showers courtesy of this area of low pressure. The showers

:28:19.:28:25.

tomorrow, initially in the West, and then they pop up elsewhere.

:28:25.:28:29.

Mostly during the morning. The second half of the day it will be

:28:29.:28:39.
:28:39.:28:41.

drier and brighter. The South East avoid most of those showers and

:28:41.:28:49.

stays at dry will stop we will see showers en a South East England

:28:49.:28:57.

however. -- in South East England. A Wales, it is Thatcham and showers.

:28:57.:29:07.
:29:07.:29:10.

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