Gadhafi's regime teeters on collapse
(AP) - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was nowhere to be found Monday as his 42-year rule teetered on the brink ofcollapse.
Months of NATO airstrikes have left his Bab al-Aziziya compoundin Tripoli largely demolished. Most of his security forces fled orsurrendered when rebel forces rolled into the capital Sunday nightand took control of most of the city. And three of his sons areunder arrest.
A mood of joy mixed with trepidation settled over the capital,with the rebels still fighting pockets of fierce resistance fromregime loyalists firing mortars and anti-aircraft guns. Rebelspokesman Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, who was in Tripoli, said the"danger is still there" as long as Gadhafi remains on the run.
"The real moment of victory is when Gadhafi is captured,"Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, the head of the rebel National TransitionalCouncil, told a news conference in the opposition's de factocapital of Benghazi, hundreds of miles east of Tripoli. He said therebels have no idea where Gadhafi is and whether he is even inTripoli. An Obama administration official said the U.S. had noindication that Gadhafi had left Libya.
President Barack Obama said the situation in Libya reached atipping point in recent days after a five month NATO-led bombingcampaign. However, he acknowledged that the situation remainedfluid and that elements of the regime remained a threat.
The Obama administration official said U.S. officials and NATOpartners had not been in contact with Gadhafi during the siege onTripoli. However, the official said American and NATOrepresentatives, as well as Libyan rebels, had all been in contactwith people around Gadhafi, mostly those looking for a way out.
Tripoli falls to Libyan rebels