Libyan civilians rallied in central Tripoli today to press the Nato-backed NTC regime to rein in its heavily armed militias, which they accused of intimidating residents and raiding homes with impunity.
Hundreds of supporters of the newly formed Tripoli Support Group (TSG) insisted that NTC chief Mustafa Abdel-Jalil must immediately re-establish the authority of the civilian police force and impose an order for brigades from outside the capital to formally leave the city.
One of the founders of the TSG, businessman Mohammed Shabbu, alleged that the NTC-aligned fighters "are shooting chaotically, fighting over the location of their bases, raiding homes with no warrants and for no real reasons."
Mr Shabbu warned that their behaviour was alienating residents.
"Sometimes you ask a young child, 'Do you like the rebels?' The child will answer: 'No, they scare me.'"
The TSG was founded by architect Sadeg Zaroug, who claimed that the group boastsed more than 100 members and aims to act as a watchdog over the NTC and the local NTC-aligned council.
"We want to document the excesses of the NTC and local councils," Mr Zaroug explained.
Militia commander Colonel Ahmed Bani dismissed concerns about the behaviour of his men.
He said that it was too early to talk about disarming them.
"As long as Gadaffi is free, the young men will hold on to their arms and it will be impossible to take the arms away from them."
Muammar Gadaffi broadcast a statement on Bani Walid radio this week in which he denied claims that he had fled the country and insisted that Libya "will never belong to traitors, Libya will be a hell for them."
"The easiest solution would have been to let the colonial powers take the oil from our people to stop the aggression," Colonel Gadaffi declared.
"But the blood of my ancestors, the blood of my father, my children and my grandchildren, the blood of all the Libyan men and women and children and the blood of all who are martyred by the bombing during this aggression, pushed us to the path of defiance and rejection of colonialism."
US Senator John McCain visited Tripoli on Thursday, claiming that "the people of Libya today are inspiring the people in Tehran, in Damascus and even in Beijing and Moscow."
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