Gaddafi describes rebels as rats
Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi on Monday described rebels as "rats" as they reportedly made advances in several towns, especially in the western part of the country, DPA reported.
"The end of the colonizer is close and the end of the rats is close," Gaddafi was quoted by the Libyan News Agency JANA, as he referred to NATO forces and the insurgents.
"The colonizer and its agents are resorting to lies and psychological warfare after all the wars with all the weapons have failed," JANA quoted Gaddafi in an audio message.
Gaddafi who seemed defiant despite the gains the rebels were making, called on his supporters to resist and to "prepare for the battle to liberate" the towns held by the rebels.
The rebels claimed on Sunday that they had advanced towards the eastern towns including Zawiyah, Sorman and Gharyan and were only 50 kilometres from the main headquarters of Gaddafi in the capital Tripoli.
JANA quoted government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim as saying that the regime's armed forces were capable of retaking towns captured by the rebels.
"Our mujahedin forces are capable of exterminating these gangs," he told a news conference.
The Libyan television broadcast what it said were live images of the Green Square in the heart of Tripoli where hundreds of Gaddafi supporters gathered to show support for their leader.
Large pictures of Gaddafi were held as well as Libyan flags.
In Beirut, Lebanese media quoted unnamed sources saying Gaddafi was preparing to flee the capital Tripoli. They added that there was an increasing exodus of families from Tripoli and Zawiyah towards the town of Zintan, south-east of the Libyan capital.