Gathafi tells supporters: you love me
TRIPOLI - Libyan leader Moamer Gathafi told crowds of supporters in Tripoli's central Green Square on Friday to "prepare to defend Libya."
Gathafi told the cheering crowd from the top of a building, said that if necessary arsenals would be thrown open to arm his people for battle.
Images on state television showed the 68-year-old leader repeatedly raising his arms and shaking his fists during the brief appearance while shouting that the Libyan people "love Gathafi."
"We will fight and we will beat them," he said, flanked by several aides.
Hundreds of people, including many young men and women, cheered and raised portraits of the ruler in a frenzied demonstration of support which continued after the leader had withdrawn. Some of them raised the country's green flag.
"Life without dignity has no value, life without green flags has no value," Gathafi told them. "Sing, dance and prepare yourselves."
Some of the crowd chanted "God, Moamer, Libya and that's all."
Before Gathafi's appearance, a man with a megaphone urged the crowd: "You love Libya, you love the leader, then defend them."
"We have foreign satellite channels with us. Show them that you love Moamer Gathafi," the man added.
Almost the entire east of the north African country has slipped from Gathafi's control since a popular uprising began with protests in the port city of Benghazi on February 15.
Hundreds of people have been killed in a brutal crackdown and tens of thousands of foreigners are scrambling to leave the country.
Gathafi loyalists had earlier killed several people in shooting that spread through the capital and French President Nicolas Sarkozy became the first world leader to openly demand the Libyan leader's ouster.