Gaddafi vows to 'fight to the death'

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi pledged on Tuesday not to surrender despite deadly NATO air raids on his compound in Tripoli and other military targets.

"We are stronger than your missiles, stronger than your planes and the voice of the Libyan people is louder than explosions," Gaddafi said in an audio message broadcast by state television.

"We only have one choice: we will stay in our land dead or alive," he said, while calling on his supporters to gather at his Bab al-Aziziya compound.

NATO aircraft conducted around 30 airstrikes on Tripoli on Tuesday, the largest bombardment on the city since the start of the military campaign in March. Several structures in and around the compound were badly damaged.

Last week, NATO extended its mission in Libya by 90 days. The coalition intervened in the North African country in March under a UN mandate to protect civilians against attacks by forces loyal to Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for over 40 years.

NATO insists that Gaddafi's regime had lost its legitimacy and the Libyan leader must surrender power to the opposition.

[Source: RIA Novosti, Moscow, 07Jun11]

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