Opposition Controls Parts Of Libya; Tripoli In Turmoil
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Throughout this morning's program, we're following the developing situation in Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi's grip on his nation appears to be in jeopardy. Rebels now say that they are in control of the eastern part of the country. Key members of Gadhafi's regime have abandoned him and people in the capital, Tripoli, say protests against his rule continue. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Cairo.
JASON BEAUBIEN: Seven days after protests erupted in the eastern city of Benghazi, residents reached by telephone now say the Eastern part of Libya is in the hands of the opposition.
ASHOUR: (Foreign language spoken)
BEAUBIEN: Media, telephone, and Internet access to Tripoli have all been severely limited over the past few days but residents report street protests calling for Gadhafi to step down continued in the Libyan capital late into Monday night. This woman who doesn't want to give her name out of fear for her safety says all schools and businesses are closed in Tripoli. And she says it's not safe to go out on the streets.
BEAUBIEN: A cousin of mine was shot, so it's a very risky, dangerous situation to be. People who are reported to talk to the media, they disappear immediately. So it's a very concerning situation happening over here.
BEAUBIEN: Unidentified Woman: We've been getting very concerned phone calls, all last night and the night before. Tripoli, there is no bombing whatsoever.
BEAUBIEN: Unidentified Woman: Everybody's just waiting for it to happen. They're not hoping, they're waiting. Everybody knows it's going to happen, and it's just a matter of time. Colonel Gadhafi appeared, briefly, on Libyan state television for 15 seconds, this morning, to refute rumors that he'd fled to Venezuela.
MOAMMAR GADHAFI: (Foreign language spoken)
BEAUBIEN: Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Cairo.
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