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TRIPOLI-In another sign that the Libyan capitol of Tripoli has been wrested from the control of Gadhafi, the broadcast from the official television station went blank. The station has been increasingly broadcasting pleas from Gadhafi. But in the evening hours of Monday, the screens went dark as rebels stormed the station at the core of Tripoli. Moments later, a logo screen for the station appeared but no other picture or sound.
A spokesman for the rebel alliance has announced that “The revolutionaries stormed the television building … after killing the soldiers surrounding it. It is now under their control.”
The forces have also announced that they have captured the TV anchor of the station, Hala Misrati. Misrati, a defender of the Gadhafi regime vowed to fight to the death if forces attempted to over-run the capital. She announced, while waving a pistol, during a station broadcast, as rebels advanced through the city, “With this weapon, I either kill or die today. You won’t take the channel, Tripoli or all of Libya. I will protect my colleagues at the channel … We are willing to become martyrs.”
As of Monday evening, rebel forces have taken over the large majority of the city. Up until the rebel attack began to take control of the capitol, Gadhafi had been reaching out to the United States in a desperate attempt to call off the onslaught. In their negotiations however, they still refused to discuss the possibility of asking Gadhafi to leave the country. The U.S. saw these latest attempts to generate talks as a ploy to delay the invasion.
Libyan rebels have also announced the capture of a third son of the embattled ruler of Libya. The hunt is now on for Gadhafi himself. Officials have no idea where he may be hiding. Some sources say he is hiding out within the city itself, while others claim he has fled to neighboring Chad or Algeria. Still others say he has gone to ground in his hometown of Sirte.
President Obama made an announcment while vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard today, stating “For over four decades the Libyan people have lived under the rule of a tyrant who denied them their most basic human rights. Now the celebrations that we’ve seen in the streets of Libya shows that the pursuit of human dignity is far stronger than any dictator.”
Obama, who was under fire from congressional ranks for his decision to afford strategic aid to the rebels earlier this year with out congressional consent, urged the rebels to make a peaceful, inclusive and just transition to democracy. Obama went on to say, “The future of Libya is in the hands of its people. This much is clear: the Gadhafi regime is coming to an end.”
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the General Seccretary of NATO also announced that “Now is the time for all threats against civilians to stop …. We will continue to monitor military units and key facilities as we have since March, and if we see any threatening moves towards the Libyan people we will act in accordance with our United Nations mandate.”