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Libya's final uprising unfolds -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: For more than four decades, the Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has survived
sanctions, American air raids and assassination attempts. But it seems he'll finally be ousted at
the hands of his own people.

The Libyan Revolution, which began in February, today rolled into the capital Tripoli, sweeping
even Gaddafi's sons into the hands of rebels as it went.

But the old dictator himself is still at large and is calling on whatever supporters he has left to
take to the streets for one final battle.

Our reporter Tim Palmer spent three weeks on the ground in Libya earlier this year and he prepared
this report.

TIM PALMER, REPORTER: The final push, like the revolution itself, began after prayers. On Saturday
night, the men at a number of mosques in Tripoli celebrated Iftar, breaking the Ramadan fast, then
sent the women and children home, barricaded themselves in and began to broadcast calls for the
final uprising to begin.

What the rebels called Operation Mermaid Dawn was underway.

Rebel fighters and weapons had been moved into the capital for just this moment, and within hours,
the rebels say 13 suburbs had joined in battle against the Gaddafi forces.

ABDEL HAFIZ GHOGA, REBEL SPOKESMAN (voiceover translation): I think Gaddafi's end is now certain.
He will either flee because of the crimes he committed, be arrested or shot dead - all options are

TIM PALMER: By daylight, the Army was being routed in many parts of the city. In Uldul Street
(phonetic spelling), rebel supporters broke down their own barricades to raise the old flag and
sing the national anthem. Now dictating his last stand by phone, Colonel Gaddafi used loyalist
television to demand his supporters to take to the streets of the capital.

MUAMMAR GADDAFI, LIBYAN LEANDER (voiceover translation): The women who trained to use weapons
should go out and use their weapons! You are all armed in Tripoli, so there is no excuse. Get out!
How can the armed people allow a group of mercenaries, traitors and rats to open the way for

TIM PALMER: Acting out that same backs-to-the-wall hyperbole, one of the Government's news
presenters vowed she'd shoot to kill any rebel who tried to take over her network.

FEMALE NEWSREADER (voiceover translation): With my weapon, I am prepared to fight today. You will
not take this channel!

TIM PALMER: But within hours, state television was for most purposes shut down, another sign that
outside, the men Gaddafi called rats were winning.

The hotel where Gaddafi loyalists had boxed up foreign reporters for months was today surrounded.
There was little time left. Enough though for one last performance by the spokesman for the old

MOUSSA IBRAHIM, LIBYAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: It's 11.15 local time, so almost 11 hours, 11 hours of
violence. It's 1,300 people killed in Tripoli alone, with 5,000 people injured. The hospitals
cannot even cope with such death toll. ... NATO is attacking the heart of a peaceful civilian city.

TIM PALMER: By now, the Gaddafi clan itself was being hunted down. Hundreds burst into the compound
of Aisha Gaddafi, the colonel's daughter. Gaddafi's son, Mohammed, was captured at home, gunmen
bursting in as he gave a phone interview on television.

And then it was announced that Saif al-Islam, the man who many saw as the face the regime's attempt
to crush the February Revolution, had also been arrested by the rebels. The International Criminal
Court announced his capture, but many of the rebels were already discussing whether to try him in
Libya, not The Hague, so that the death penalty would be an option.

MAHMOUD JIBRIL, REBEL LEADER (voiceover translation): Those who were tortured in the past had their
properties confiscated, were raped and had their assets seized will achieve victory for themselves.
Forgive and let the law pronounce its judgment.

TIM PALMER: The dizzying speed of the thrust into Tripoli has come just weeks after the rebels
seemed to have lost all momentum. Their military leader had been assassinated. Perhaps the former
Gaddafi general Abdel Younes had simply made too many enemies to be able to survive the change of
sides. There were reports that the revolution was fragmenting into militia groups inside Benghazi.
But the NATO air raids never ceased. And in the past few weeks, weapons provided by France and
Qatar suddenly changed the military balance. Overnight, many Gaddafi loyalists tried to melt back
into the civilian population, leaving the rebels to sweep up control of an estimated 80 per cent of
Tripoli. What fighting continues is centred on the Bab Al-Aziziya compound. It represents Fortress
Gaddafi. But still, the great dictator has not been found.

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF NATO: The Gaddafi regime is clearly crumbling. The
sooner Gaddafi realises that he cannot win the battle against his own people, the better. So that
the Libyan people can be spared further bloodshed and suffering.

TIM PALMER: Libya now seems hours from a new order, joining its neighbours, Egypt and Tunisia, in
casting off the past. In those two countries, the armies and the old dictators went quietly.
Colonel Gaddafi chose instead to try to crush the movement for change with brutal force. In the
end, it seems to have made no difference.

A few thousand kilometres away in Damascus, the Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad will be wondering
who's next.

LEIGH SALES: Well it may be hours from a new order, but who exactly will take over? It's all very
unclear. Tim Palmer there.