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Friday, February 25, 2011

Libya update: Gaddafi's last stand? (updated)

Things are happening very, very quickly in Libya today, and the feeling is in the air that Gaddafi's rule is about to end.

There have been more towns captured by the opposition, and counterattacks by Libyan troops failed to re-take Zawiyah and Misurata.

But the main action is taking place in Tripoli itself today - and it is falling to the opposition, neighborhood by neighborhood, even in the face of deadly attacks. The Souk al Juma and Tajoura areas of Tripoli haves been taken by the opposition. There is lots of shooting in the streets, and many are being killed. Some think the total death toll has passed 2000.

Some are reporting that all that is left is Bab Azizyah, a heavily fortified 6 square-kilometer compound where Gaddafi is presumably holed up. It is said to be able to withstand bombings from the air.

The feeling is that if Tripoli falls, then it is game over, although some fear Gaddafi making it to a neighboring African country and waging new battles from there.

The tweeters are way ahead of the media here.

UPDATE: Gaddafi emerged to speak to supporters at Green Square. And the latest reports are that presumed mercenaries are looking for protests and shooting on sight. So reports that Tripoli is close to falling seem to have been premature.