| Libyan rebels moved into the square of Tripoli as cheering crowds took to streets to celebrate what they called the regime fall.
However, fierce clashes are taking place around the compound of Gaddafi in Tripoli, Bab al-Azizia, few hours after the NATO-backed rebels seized most of the capital.
Rebels met little resistance as they swept in from east, south and west. A rebel spokesman says pro-Gaddafi forces still control 15-20% of Tripoli.
A government fight back was reported in Gaddafi’s compound as dawn broke on Monday, with a rebel spokesman said tanks emerging from Gaddafi’s stronghold and shelling the area.
Shortly after the rebels moved into the center of Tripoli, jubilant civilians took to celebrate what they saw as the end of Gaddafi’s four decades of power.
As they entered the capital, rebels waved opposition flags and fired into the air in the Green Square, a symbolic showcase the government had until recently used for mass demonstrations in support of the Gaddafi. Rebels immediately began calling it Martyrs Square.
Many Tripoli residents received a text message from the rebel leadership saying: “God is Great. We congratulate the Libyan people on the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.”
GADDAFI’S WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN
Earlier, the defiant leader had made two audio addresses over state television calling on Libyans to fight off the rebels.
“We will not, we will not abandon Tripoli to the occupants and their agents. I am with you in this battle,” he said in one message.
He called on his supporters to “march on Tajura in tens of thousands to purge the officials of the colonizers,” in a reference to the rebels, who have since March been backed by blistering NATO air strikes on Gaddafi’s military.
In another message he urged supporters to “march by the millions” to liberate cities held by “traitors and rats.”
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, which wants Seif along with his father on charges of crimes against humanity, confirmed he had been held and said he should be handed over for trial.
On the other hand, Gaddafi’s eldest son Mohammed Al-Gaddafi had surrendered to rebel forces. In a television interview, the younger Gaddafi said gunmen had surrounded his house, but he later told al-Jazeera in a phone call that he and his family were unharmed.
In the interview, he took an apologetic tone and said it was a lack of wisdom that caused the revolution and crisis in Libya.
“I’ve never been a government or security official, however I can tell you the absence of wisdom and foresight is what brought us to here today. Our differences could have been solved easily,” he said.
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