Saif Gaddafi confident of victory
The Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi will fall to government forces
within 48 hours, Saif Gaddafi has said in a television interview.
Saif, the son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, told France-based
Euronews that any decision taken by the United Nations would come "too
Pro-government forces have been attacking rebel towns, including
Ajdabiyah as they sweep east, reports SkyNews.
Asked about Benghazi, Saif said: "Everything will be over in 48 hours.”
World leaders are meeting later, at the UN in New York, to discuss
imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.
Saif said: "The military operations are finished. In 48 hours,
everything will be over.
"Our forces are close to Benghazi. Whatever decision is taken, it will
be too late."
The Libyan army told people in Benghazi to lay down their arms as its
troops advanced closer to the rebel stronghold.
Ajdabiyah, 90 miles (150 km) south of Benghazi on the Gulf of Sirte,
is now in government hands after most of its rebel defenders retreated
under fire from an artillery barrage on Tuesday.
Those who stayed had now handed over their guns, a rebel officer said.
In Benghazi, seat of the insurgents' provisional national council, the
mood was a mixture of defiance and nervousness.
Some citizens were predicting a bloodbath but others were confident
the rebels would still snatch victory.
Forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi have reversed gains made by the rebel
army early in the uprising against his 41-year-rule of the North
Important oil industry facilities are now mostly back under government control.
An armed forces statement read on state television described the
offensive as a humanitarian operation to save the people of "beloved
Benhgazi" and said troops would not take revenge on them if they
Benghazi residents said they had found leaflets scattered in the
streets also telling them they would not be punished if they gave up
Aid organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres said the violence had
forced it to withdraw its staff from Benghazi.
"Security conditions have made it effectively impossible for medical
teams to travel safely to areas where the fighting has created the
greatest need," it said.
A former government official who lives in Benghazi, Salah Ben-Saud,
was more upbeat, saying life in the port city was normal.
"There were rumours that he (Col Gaddafi) would try to take back
Benghazi and that made people a bit nervous, but he didn't and people
here don't think he would succeed anyway if he tried," he told