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Tuesday, August 30, 2011 

So who will protect the civilians of Sirte?

Compare and contrast. From March, and which has since been used as the primary justification for why intervention in Libya was needed urgently:

Muammar Gaddafi told Libyan rebels on Thursday his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy to fighters who resisted them.

In a radio address, he told Benghazi residents that soldiers would search every house in the city and people who had no arms had no reason to fear.

"It's over ... We are coming tonight," he said. "You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets."


In the speech, the Libyan leader denounced the rebels and said: "We will show no mercy and no pity to them".

He also told his troops not to pursue any rebels who drop their guns and flee when government forces reach the city.

From today:

Libya's interim leaders have given pro-Gaddafi forces until Saturday to surrender or face military force.


Speaking at a news conference in Benghazi, Mr Jalil said that if there was no "peaceful indication" by Saturday that Gaddafi-loyalists intended to surrender, "we will decide this manner militarily".

"We do not wish to do so but we cannot wait longer," he said.

The NTC's military chief, Col Ahmed Omar Bani, said: "Zero hour is quickly approaching... So far we have been given no indication of a peaceful surrender."

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the deadline, saying: "I think it's the right thing to do, to say to the forces loyal to the remnants of the Gaddafi regime: here is the opportunity to lay down your arms, to consider your situation."

And if you don't, then get ready to be "protected".

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