Libya hands out arms to people in defense against aggressors - Gaddafi
CAIRO, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Libyan authorities have started handing out arms from military depots to the country's population in response to the U.S.-led attack against Libya, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said in a radio address to the nation on Sunday.
"The arms depots have been opened and we have started handing out arms to people," Gaddafi said.
He said that the military operation launched by the United States and its allies was an "unprecedented war" but the Libyan people "will not surrender."
Gaddafi also said that the Libyan authorities would eliminate anyone who would collaborate with foreign aggressors which had launched a military operation in Libya.
"This is a new crusade, unprecedented in its treachery. All traitors who will collaborate will be immediately eliminated," Gaddafi said.
The Libyan leader also said that Libya was preparing for a long-lasting war with foreign aggressors.
"We have nowhere to retreat and you will be defeated," Gaddafi said, referring to the coalition of foreign states, which had launched air strikes against Libya.
"If all the men are killed, our women will take up the arms," Gaddafi said.
The military operation against Gaddafi who has ruled the country with an iron fist for more than 40 years began on Saturday, involving the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and other countries.
A new UN Security Council resolution on Libya adopted on Thursday encompasses a no-fly zone and "all necessary measures" against forces loyal to Gaddafi.
The U.S. Pentagon reported that a U.S. warship had fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Gaddafi's air defense sites. The U.S. operation is named "Odyssey Dawn".
Libyan television reported citing military officials that at least 50 civilians were killed and over 150 wounded in military attacks of the coalition forces, adding that many health and education facilities were ruined.
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