Gadaffi: My people love me
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi flatly denied today the existence of the protests threatening to end his 41-year rule, as reports of fighting between government forces and rebels raged another day.
In a joint interview with ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour and the BBC, Gadhafi also denied using force against his people, Amanpour reported. Excerpts of the interview were posted on the networks’ websites.
“No demonstration at all in the streets,” he said, speaking at a restaurant in Tripoli.
Told by the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen that he had seen demonstrators in the streets that morning, Gadhafi asked, “Are they supporting us?”
“They love me, all my people with me, they love me all. They will die to protect me, my people,” he said.
Government forces have repeatedly clashed with demonstrators over the past two weeks in Libya, fired on crowds and at times shot indiscriminately at people in the streets, numerous witnesses have told CNN. The death toll has topped 1,000, according to an estimate from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.