Blasts Hit Tripoli, Easing Gadhafi's Hold On Power
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Libyan state television had an interruption in regular programming last night. Moammar Gadhafi appeared on screen in what the government said was a live appearance.
MOAMMAR GADHAFI: (Foreign language spoken)
INSKEEP: NPR's David Greene has been out inspecting the damage to buildings, and to Gadhafi's grip on the city.
(SOUNDBITE OF BANGING)
DAVID GREENE: Unidentified Man #1: (Foreign language spoken)
GREENE: We are told, a captain told us that nobody was killed, no one was hurt, and he said thank God for that.
ABDUL BASSETT: We have before - we leave this place, because maybe it exploded at anytime. Then we go far from this place. We go far away.
GREENE: Could you just give us your name, Captain?
BASSETT: Captain Abdul Bassett.
GREENE: Unidentified Man #2: Sir, have you trained - you speak good English - have you trained with other foreign forces before? Have you trained with Russian forces or with British forces?
BASSETT: Yes, yes, Libyan navy, we're training with French, we train with Italian. We have big training with the French Navy. You see last year, only one year, but everything has changed. They friend before, now they're enemy, enemy today.
GREENE: The visit to that navy yard was organized by the government, and journalists were watched at every step. But at times yesterday we slipped away from our government minders and found evidence of another kind of damage to Gadhafi.
INSKEEP: People want him to go. But he says he's not going away. The majority of people have turned and want him to go away.
GREENE: This is what one man in Tripoli told us. We're withholding the man's name and voice for his safety. Plain-clothed security officers have been known to interrogate people after unauthorized interviews. Despite the risks, people seemed more eager than ever yesterday to reveal their feelings.
GADHAFI: They are pretending to show that the population love Gadhafi, which is a lie. They are pretending. It's a lie.
GREENE: Another man we met lives in Souq al Juma. There's a battalion of soldiers in my neighborhood and they'll shoot, he said. Obama has got to get rid of Gadhafi. Everybody in Libya does not like Gadhafi.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)
GREENE: This song was inspired by an earlier Gadhafi speech. The leader vowed to wipe out the rebels zenga, zenga, alley by alley. A throng of supporters plays the song day and night in Tripoli's Green Square.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)
GREENE: Unidentified Man #4: Okay.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHATTER)
INSKEEP: People in the last two weeks, two weeks ago, we make some revolution here. I can't talk too much. Ask me something. Maybe I will...
GREENE: Unidentified Man #4: Yes. But Benghazi is moving. Here, police and the military - just can't say to(ph) anyone, or do anything.
GREENE: Unidentified Man #4: Change, like what? Okay.
GREENE: Unidentified Man #4: Okay, you understand.
GREENE: David Greene, NPR News, Tripoli.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.