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Friday, July 22, 2011

Libya's Gaddafi urges Misrata notables to fight rebels, Posted by Meosha Eaton

TUNIS, Jul 22, 2011 - Muammar Gaddafi urged families and tribal leaders from Misrata to fight to take back Libya's third-largest city from rebels who have pushed his troops away after more than four months of bitter fighting.

Libyan TV showed footage of Gaddafi meeting at a conference center in Tripoli with dozens of notables from Misrata and residents of the capital with relatives in the town, chastising them for their inaction.
"It's impossible to leave Misrata like this... You must go to Misrata, enter it," Gaddafi said, urging them to take action even if they lack the arms to confront the rebels.

"Where are the families we know and respect?" After rising up against Gaddafi's 41-year rule back in February, a force of rebels made up mostly of civilians from Misrata has pushed his better-equipped troops to a line around 36 km (22 miles) west of the city.

Gaddafi's plea comes in a week when his government bombarded Libyans with text messages urging them to march on the Western mountains to fight rebels who have also defeated the army there, calls which do not appear to have been answered.

"This farce must end. Shame on you people of Misrata... How can you accept this?" he said.

(Reporting by Lin Noueihed and Lutfi Abu Aoun; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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