Libya’s Gaddafi: “All my people love me”

March 1st, 2011 - 2:05 am ICT by BNO News  

TRIPOLI (BNO NEWS) — Embattled Libyan leader Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi on Monday denied there are anti-government protests in the country’s capital and said his people love him.

Libya has been plunged into chaos as massive anti-government protests continue nationwide, resulting in a violent crackdown by security forces which included aerial bombardments on protesters. At least 300 people and as many as more than 1,000 people have been killed in the uprising, but confirmed information has been difficult to obtain due to reporting restrictions by Libyan authorities.

Gaddafi spoke with several journalists in Tripoli on Monday, among them ABC News reporter Christiane Amanpour and BBC reporter Jeremy Bowen. “I interviewed Col. Muammar Gaddafi this morning, when he told me he cannot step down because he is not a president or king, and claimed there have been no demonstrations in the streets of Libya’s capital,” Amanpour wrote on ABC’s website.

“My people love me. They would die for me,” Amanpour cited Gaddafi as saying. She also said Gaddafi refused to acknowledge that anti-government protests had taken place in Tripoli and denied using force against his own people.

As before, Gaddafi blamed al-Qaeda for encouraging young people to seize arms from military installations. Gaddafi had earlier said on state television that al-Qaeda had given drugs to young Libyans and influenced them to protest.

Gaddafi also said he feels betrayed by the United States, where U.S. President Barack Obama has called on Gaddafi to step down. “I’m surprised that we have an alliance with the west to fight al-Qaeda, and now that we are fighting terrorists they have abandoned us,” he said. “Perhaps they want to occupy Libya.”

Gaddafi further called Obama a “good man” but said that he might have been given “misinformation” about the situation in his country. “The statements I have heard from him must have come from someone else,” he said. “America is not the international police of the world.”

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