3 Aug 2011

Gaddafi son vows rebellion will be crushed

10:09 am on 3 August 2011

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, has said the conflict in Libya will continue until the rebellion is wiped out - whether or not NATO stops its bombing campaign in support of the government's opponents.

State television showed the leader's son making the comments to families displaced from the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Reuters reports that the comments seem to remove an earlier Libyan government offer of ceasefire talks if NATO stopped bombing and leave little room for diplomacy to end a war that has killed thousands and divided Libya.

The rebels have seized about half Libya but lose ground to attacks by better armed and trained Gaddafi forces.

Hospital sources in Misrata said seven rebels had been killed in one such counter-attack by Gaddafi forces on Tuesday. Another 65 fighters were reportedly wounded.