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Conditions Deteriorating In Tripoli

TRIBPOLI, Libya, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Residents of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, described a city under siege Friday as rebels captured Zawiyah, 30 miles away.

The New York Times reported that Tripoli residents in telephone interviews said trash is not being collected and crime is commonplace. Many people are trying to get out, they said.

Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya since 1969, released an audio statement urging his people to continue to fight.

“The blood of the martyrs is fuel for the battlefield,” he said.

Gadhafi has so far resisted calls for him to step down and defied NATO bombing in Tripoli. Airstrikes were heavy this week.

U.S. officials warn little reliable information is coming from the capital.

“Clearly, the regime is feeling the pressure, and the opposition is gaining ground each day,” one man told the Times. “How or when that translates into a tipping point or what the endgame might look like is hard to determine. At this stage, Gadhafi might not know what he’s going to do from one day to the next.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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