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Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, addressed residents of the opposition stronghold of Benghazi late on Thursday, warning them of an impending military operation during which “no mercy” would be shown to any opposition fighters.
He said that if citizens laid down their arms, they would not be harmed. He also said that he had been receiving “thousands” of phone calls from Benghazi, from residents who were being held “hostage” and who wanted to be “rescued”.