13 Sep 2011

Jalil delivers first speech from Tripoli

7:34 pm on 13 September 2011

Libya's interim leader has made his first public speech in Tripoli, warning against reprisals after loyalists of the ousted Muammar Gaddafi struck back.

The pro-Gaddafi fighters killed 15 guards at an oil refinery 20km from the coastal town of Ras Lanuf.

They were attempting to disrupt a drive by the ruling National Transitional Council to seize the ousted leader's last bastions and revive the oil-based economy.

Council chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil addressed a crowd of about 10,000 people in the capital and used the speech to call for restraint.

He said Libya would be governed as a moderate Muslim democracy, and extremist ideology would not be tolerated.

"We seek a state of law, prosperity and one where sharia (Islamic law) is the main source for legislation, and this requires many things and conditions."

He gave his speech in the same square in which Col Gaddafi used to rally his supporters.

A Syrian-based television station said on Monday it had received a new message from the fugitive Gaddafi, who has issued regular battle calls to his followers in the three weeks since Tripoli was overrun, but could not broadcast it for security reasons.

It quoted the ousted leader, who it said was still in Libya, as saying: "We cannot give up Libya to colonisation one more time ... There is nothing more to do except fight til victory."