Tripoli, Feb 22 (IANS) Muammar Gaddafi said Tuesday during a brief appearance on state television that he was “in Tripoli and not in Venezuela”, scotching swirling rumours that the 68-year-old Libyan leader had fled following a massive unrest.
“I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Do not believe the channels belonging to stray dogs,” Gaddafi told Libyan state TV that mentioned he was speaking outside his house Tuesday.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague had suggested Monday that Gaddafi had fled to Venezuela. However, Caracas had denied it.
The unrest in Libya has turned violent with the toll having crossed 200.
Gaddafi leaned out of a van as an umbrella was held over him during his 22-second appearance since the protests began, Al Jazeera reported.
It was the first televised appearance of Gaddafi who is under intense pressure to quit since massive protests erupted last week.
“I wanted to say something to the youths at the Green Square (in Tripoli) and stay up late with them but it started raining. Thank god, it’s a good thing,” said Gaddafi.
Benghazi, a city in the country’s east, witnessed huge demonstrations. Libyan security forces have been accused of firing live ammunition against defiant demonstrators who are demanding that Gaddafi’s 41-year rule must end now.