Amid violent protests against the government, Libyan strongman Moammer Gadhafi defiantly said yesterday he would not resign, "I will die a martyr at the end." Gadhafi also said the protests were "serving the devil," told his supporters to attack the "cockroaches... greasy rats and cats" protesting against him, and promised to "cleanse Libya house by house." During his speech, he tried to rally his followers, "Come out of your homes, attack them in their dens. Withdraw your children from the streets. They are drugging your children, they are making your children drunk and sending them to hell." But his Interior Minister resigned last night because of Gadhafi's brutal tactics.
According to CNN, ex-Interior Minister Abdul Fattah Younis al Abidi said "that he resigned Monday after hearing that some 300 unarmed civilians had been killed in Benghazi during the prior two to three days [the Human Rights Watch has put the toll at 62]. He accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of planning to attack civilians on a wide scale." Abidi said, "Gadhafi told me he was planning on using airplanes against the people in Benghazi, and I told him that he will have thousands of people killed if he does that." Abidi also said that Gadhafi is "a stubborn man" who will not give up, "He will either commit suicide or he will get killed."
However, Gadhafi's words (see the speech below) proved effective in Tripoli: the NY Times reports, "After a televised speech by Colonel Qaddafi, thousands of his supporters converged in the city’s central Green Square, wearing green bandannas and brandishing large machetes. Many loaded into trucks headed for the outlying areas of the city, where they occupied traffic intersections and appeared to be massing for neighborhood-to-neighborhood searches." A witness said, "It looks like they have been given a green light to kill these people."
The United Nations Security Council said today that it "condemned the violence and use of force against civilians, deplored the repression against peaceful demonstrators and expressed deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of civilians." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the violence "unacceptable." A Libyan opposition activist told the Wall Street Journal, "We've been calling for an end to Gadhafi's rule for years … but what we've always feared is the day after. Right now it looks like the worst case scenario is coming true, that Libya becomes like Somalia, with every strongman with a gun ruling his own fiefdom."