Moammar Gadhafi said in audio remarks broadcast Wednesday morning that he is at large in Tripoli and residents must cleanse the Libyan capital from rebels.
All Libyans must be present in Tripoli, young men, tribal men and women must sweep through Tripoli and comb it for traitors, the Libyan leader said. I have been out a bit in Tripoli discreetly, without being seen by people, and ... I did not feel that Tripoli was in danger, he added in remarks broadcast from an unknown location on al-Rai TV.
Earlier, speaking on pro-Gadhafi staion al-Urubah, he called his retreat from the Bab Al-Aziziya compound tactical move. He vowed to continue the fight against rebels and NATO, and promised either victory or martyrdom, according to Reuters.
He also said that NATO leveled his compound with 64 airstrikes. Earlier on Tuesday, the rebels said they seized control of the base, which they scoured for signs of their head of state.
Gadhafi's speech reiterates a conclusion reached by Noman Benotman, senior analyst at the Quilliam think tank and an associate of Gadhafi's former spy chief.
Gadhafi is banking on the rebels making a mess of Tripoli and causing chaos. He is relying on them to behave badly, Benotman told Reuters.
They want rival militia zones to start springing up... That's why it's critical for the rebels to get their act together.
Four hundred people were killed and 2,000 injured in three days of fighting between the rebels and pro-Gadhafi forces in the capital, but the anti-government fighters tore through the Bab al-Azizya compound with little resistance.