Posted by: W.T. & R. | 30 August, 2011

Report: Anger simmers among pro-Gadhafi Libyans

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – In a part of Tripoli known for its loyalty to Muammar Gaddafi, two men vented their fury over the fall of the national government, shouting abuse at the media and calling journalists liars, traitors and spies.

Crowds of gun-toting rebels and their supporters who cheered the rebels on their march to the capital have stolen the media limelight. But among many others in the city, anger simmers over the NATO backed rebels’ military coup against Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule.

Rebels carry away looted items from a destroyed building in Tripoli, Aug 25, 2011

“You media don’t tell the truth, you’re all traitors, spies,” shouted a taxi driver, his face contorted with anger, not caring that nearby were armed and zealous rebels.

“You sold our country out,” shouted another man who came to join him, before a deafening crack prompted the shoppers in the busy street to duck and flinch.

“Look at this,” shouted the taxi driver, pointing at the young rebel across the street who had fired an anti-aircraft gun into the air.

“This is what our country has come to,” he said.

“Gaddafi gave us the best life. We were comfortable, we could go anywhere we wanted. Now we can’t go out at all. I have friends in Gaddafi’s army, and they will never surrender,” the 20-year-old said.

“Only God, Mohammed and Muammar,” he added, repeating a well-known pro-Gaddafi slogan that rebels have been busy defacing and covering with their own graffiti in recent days.

The shop worker’s brother’s allegiance was more nuanced.

“Before, arrogant or not, under Gaddafi there was no killing in the streets, no weapons. Now after the revolution, there’s killing, fear. I wish he was still here,” he said.

“There’s more Gaddafi supporters than rebels here. But they can’t act right now as we don’t know what the future will be. They’re waiting for Gaddafi to come back,” he added.

Gaddafi’s whereabouts and that of his son Saif al-Islam are unknown, and the NATO backed rebel leadership has announced a bounty of $1 million for Gaddafi’s capture.

Outside the store, commotion erupted as rebels bundled a dark-skinned man into a car. Many rebels accuse nationals of nearby African countries of being mercenaries for Gaddafi.

On Saturday, reporters saw the putrefying bodies of 22 men of African origin on a Tripoli beach. Those who had come to bury them claimed that they were mercenaries whom rebels had shot dead.



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