CAIRO - (AP) - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vows to fight on anddie a "martyr," calling on his supporters to take back thestreets from protesters demanding his ouster, shouting and poundinghis fist in a furious speech Tuesday on state TV.
Gadhafi, swathed in brown robes and turban, spoke from a podiumset up in the entrance of a bombed out building that appeared to behis Tripoli residence hit by U.S. airstrikes in the 1980s and leftunrepaired as a monument of defiance. The speech, which appeared tohave been taped earlier, was aired on a screen to hundreds ofsupporters massed in Tripoli's central Green Square.
Shouting in the rambling speech, he declared himself "awarrior" and proclaimed, "Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be atthe pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world."
At times the camera panned out to show a towering gold-coloredmonument in front of the building, showing a fist crushing afighter jet with an American flag on it - a view that also gave thestrange image of Gadhafi speaking alone from behind a podium in thebuilding's delapidated lobby, with no audience in front of him.
"I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents ... I will die as amartyr at the end," he said. "I have not yet ordered the use offorce, not yet ordered one bullet to be fired ... when i do,everything will burn."
He called on supporters to take to the streets to attackprotesters. "You men and women who love Gadhafi ...get out of yourhomes and fill the streets," he said. "Leave your homes andattack them in their lairs ... Starting tomorrow the cordons willbe lifted, go out and fight them."
"From tonight to tomorrow, all the young men should form localcommittees for popular security," he said, telling them to wear agreen armband to identify themselves. "The Libyan people and thepopular revolution will control Libya."
Tripoli has been torn by two nights of bloodshed as pro-Gadhafimilitiamen cracked down on protesters. Across the country, at least250 people have been killed in a week of unrest.