16 Mar 2011

Gaddafi predicts victory within days

10:00 pm on 16 March 2011

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is predicting victory within days, as his forces push towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

World powers are still debating whether or not to impose a no-fly zone to help stop him.

At an evening rally in a huge tent in the capital, Tripoli, Colonel Gaddafi condemned the rebels as rats, dogs, hypocrites and traitors.

As he spoke, thousands of rebels gathered in a square in Benghazi denouncing him as a tyrant.

Their position looks highly vulnerable, however, now that government troops have taken control of the junction at Ajdabiyah, opening the way to Benghazi.

A battle for the eastern town of Brega is apparently still undecided, the BBC reports. The oil town has changed hands several times over recent days.

In the west, government forces appear to have retaken Zuwara and have been shelling Misurata.

A Gaddafi victory and the crackdown on protests in Bahrain could turn the tide in the region against pro-democracy movements.