23 Feb 2011

Gaddafi speech and Libya unrest – as it happened

Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, spoke earlier for more than an hour in reaction to the protests that have been rocking his country and seem to have left much of its eastern half out of his control.

See the speech with subtitles here


Here are the key points:

Gaddafi is not standing down or leaving the country. He said he would die in Libya "as a martyr".

He called upon his supporters to take back the streets from those who have been rebelling against his rule. He said they should go out tonight and "chase them".

He railed against the rebels, threatening them with the death penalty and calling them "rats" and drug addicts. He hinted that he had not yet used the type of violence he could do, pointing to China's massacre in Tiananmen Square and the FBI's infamous siege in Waco. At times he would change tack and say he did not blame the young people for rebelling, saying they had been unduly influenced by their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt.

Follow it on Guardian.co.uk