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Gaddafi vows never to surrender, but Obama says it's just a matter of time

US President Barack Obama says progress has been made in the past three months in Libya and it’s “just a matter of time” before Gaddafi yields to pressure and resigns.

Image from yesterday's televised broadcast featuring Muammar Gaddafi.
Image from yesterday's televised broadcast featuring Muammar Gaddafi.
Image: AP Photo/ Libyan TV via APTN/PA Images

LIBYAN LEADER Muammar Gaddafi has vowed never to surrender, as NATO carried out its heaviest air strike yet on the north African country.

Speaking on state television from an unknown location, Gaddafi denounced NATO and the rebels who continue to challenge his rule and called out, “We will not kneel!”

“We have only one choice,” he said, “we will stay in our land dead or alive.”

His last televised appearance was when South African president Jacob Zuma travelled to Tripoli at the end of May to engage in mediation talks aimed at finding a resolution to the ongoing conflict. Yesterday, state television showed images it said were of a meeting between Gaddafi and Libyan tribal leaders and broadcast a phone interview with Gaddafi.

Around 7,000 people have fled Libya since Monday, streaming over the border into Tunisia. Yesterday’s heavy NATO bombing was a rare daylight raid which focused on Tripoli and more explosions were heard in the capital overnight.

A NATO meeting today is expected to centre not only on the air strikes and continued pressure on Gaddafi, but on what will happen when the air campaign ends, according to the BBC. Having extended NATO’s Libya operations by 90 days last week, British and French helicopters took part in attacks for the first time at the weekend.

Speaking at a news conference with Germany’s Angela Merkel, US President Barack Obama said Gaddafi needs to step down, “for his own people”, according to a CBS News video. Obama said good progress had been made in Libya, adding: “Our goal there was to protect the Libyan people from a potential slaughter; we have done so.”

The US president said that it was “just a matter of time before Gaddafi goes”.

Video: NATO continues air strike on Libya:

Video posted by AssociatedPress

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read more: Gaddafi vows to ‘fight to the death’ >

Read more: Tripoli pummelled by rare daylight NATO airstrikes >

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