As Rebels Advance On Tripoli, Residents Stock Up Rebels in eastern Libya are moving west toward the capital Tripoli. Shops there are closed, and residents are forced to stock up on food and gas when they can find it. The bombings by coalition airplanes also started up again in the capital.
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As Rebels Advance On Tripoli, Residents Stock Up

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As Rebels Advance On Tripoli, Residents Stock Up

As Rebels Advance On Tripoli, Residents Stock Up

As Rebels Advance On Tripoli, Residents Stock Up

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/134916936/134916951" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Rebels in eastern Libya are moving west toward the capital Tripoli. Shops there are closed, and residents are forced to stock up on food and gas when they can find it. The bombings by coalition airplanes also started up again in the capital.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

The rebels in eastern Libya are moving quickly west towards the capital. In an effort to repel them, Libyan troops are racing towards the town of Sirte, which is Moammar Gadhafi's hometown. The bombings by coalition airplanes have started up again. And in Tripoli, shops are closed, and residents are stocking up on food and gas when they can find it. Almost no one in the capital wants to talk to Western journalists, as NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOMB BLASTS)

LOURDES GARCIA: After several days of quiet, Tripoli - the increasingly isolated capital - came under attack again. A series of at least nine blasts rumbled through this city of two million, followed by ineffectual anti-aircraft gunfire.

(SOUNDBITE OF GUNFIRE)

GARCIA: At a press conference late last night in Tripoli, the normally glib spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, was at a loss to explain what's happening.

WERTHEIMER: The air bombardment is not justified. It's attacking our stationary armies. It's killing our kids in the army who are not doing anything. They are just sitting in their vehicles. Some of them actually were attacked as they were withdrawing. They were moving clearly - I mean, even to an airplane - clearly moving westbound, and they were attacked.

GARCIA: There seems to be an increasing sense of disconnect between the capital and what is happening in the east. In the latest propaganda effort gone awry, the government here sent a group of Western journalists from Tripoli to Sirte to show that the government was still in control there. The reporters were caught in the aerial bombardment when they arrived and were told that there was no safe place for them to stay.

(SOUNDBITE OF AN CROWD CHATTER)

GARCIA: Many gas stations are closed, and at others, there are long lines.

GARCIA: (Foreign language spoken) Three hours. (Foreign language spoken)

GARCIA: At the gas station, some blamed NATO and the embargo for the situation.

GARCIA: (Foreign language spoken)

GARCIA: But one man, whose name we are withholding for his safety, told us he blames the government for what's happening here.

GARCIA: (Foreign language spoken)

GARCIA: Many others, though, were simply too afraid to say anything at all to Western journalists, accompanied by government minders. Many people here have been detained and abused for speaking to the foreign media.

GARCIA: What did you see...

GARCIA: I cannot talk.

GARCIA: But did you hear about the...

GARCIA: I cannot talk. If you want to save me, so I cannot talk with the TV or something like that. You know?

GARCIA: Why?

GARCIA: You know why. I cannot say nothing. You know? There is a lot of snitch here. You know? So I cannot talk.

GARCIA: Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News, Tripoli.

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