Uncertainty and concern prevail in the area of the capital Tripoli after a fourth night of western coalition air strikes against military targets of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi.
“There were heavy bombings last night at around 8:00, then at midnight and this morning at dawn”, said a MISNA source reached in the capital, where it appears that the latest operations didn’t cause any civilian casualties.
“Daily life is becoming extremely difficult, in some areas they are without food, water and electricity. Phone lines are down and communications with the Benghazi area are impossible”, added the MISNA source.
Three reporters were freed, including two of the AFP and one of the Getty Images news agencies, arrested last Saturday near Ajdabiya, in the east, by Qadhafi’s forces.
“The journalists can return to their families or remain to work in Tripoli”, said Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for the Libyan regime.
The last words pronounced by Qadhafi in a brief address to the nation last night, don’t allow much hope for a rapid end to the crisis.
Libya “is ready for battle, brief or long” and “in the end we will win”, the Libyan leader said from his Bab Al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli that was the target of a coalition missile strike.
“We are making fun of their rockets. The Libyans are laughing at these rockets. We will defeat them by any method”, Qadhafi said in front of a crowd of supporters.
Meanwhile, after hours of disagreements on who should hold the command of coalition force operations in Libya, it appears that a deal was reached for the NATO to hold a key role, though the aspects remain unclear, in talks between US President Barack Obama, who is on a visit in El Salvador, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
“The two Presidents observed with satisfaction that coalition operations have already limited civilian casualties”, says a French government statement, “and reduced Colonel Qadhafi’s capacities to use force against his population”.
The two leaders, continues the statement, “agreed on how to use NATO command structures in support of the coalition”.