NATO's bombs do not scare us, says Muammar Gaddafi

LIBYAN leader Muammar Gaddafi said today he would not bow under the pressure of NATO air strikes and the rebellion against him, saying his loyalists would recapture lost territory.

"Millions of people are on my side," Gaddafi said in a speech broadcast over loudspeakers to partisans in Al-Aziziya, 50 kilometres west of Tripoli.

"We are in our own home, and we will fight to the last drop of blood to defend our honour, our oil and our riches," he said.

"This war was imposed on us, and our only choice is to fight - men, women and children - with all our weapons to liberate (the rebel strongholds) of Benghazi, Misrata and Al-Jabal Al-Gharbi (the Nafusa mountains southwest of the capital).

"We will march on the cities controlled by the traitors and mercenaries of NATO to retake them. NATO's bombs do not scare us."

In his last address, on Saturday, Gaddafi said he would never leave the land of his ancestors after new international calls for him to go and as rebels pressed their campaign to overthrow him.

"They are asking me to leave. That's a laugh. I will never leave the land of my ancestors or the people who have sacrificed themselves for me," he said in a loudspeaker address to supporters in Zawiyah, some 50km west of Tripoli.

"I'm ready to sacrifice myself for my people, and I will never quit this land sprinkled with the blood of my ancestors who fought Italian and British colonialists," he said of the five-month-long revolt against his rule.

"These rats have taken our people hostage in Benghazi, Misrata and the western mountains, using them as human shields," Mr Gaddafi said of insurgents in the rebel capital in the east and port city in the west.

"Five million armed Libyans will march on them and liberate the occupied towns as soon as the order is given.

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