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Qaddafi Losing Grip on Libya

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Libyan citizens took over Tripoli's main square on Sunday night, as rebel forces claimed to have taken control of much of the capital, and captured two of Muammar Qaddafi's sons. Rebel gains in the past several days brought them to the outskirts of Tripoli, and they practically sped into neighborhoods of the city on Sunday, facing minimal resistance. Qaddafi remains defiant, if unseen, issuing radio statements urging residents of Tripoli to rise up against the rebels. Even as celebrations took place in Benghazi and parts of Tripoli, fighting continues, and Muammar Qaddafi remains nominally in power, even though he appears to have effectively lost much of his control. Also see earlier entries: DIY Weapons of the Libyan Rebels, and Three Months of Civil War in Libya. [44 photos]

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People celebrate the capture in Tripoli of Muammar Qaddafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early Monday, on August 22, 2011. Libyan rebels raced into Tripoli in a lightning advance Sunday that met little resistance as Muammar Qaddafi's defenders melted away and his 40-year rule appeared to rapidly crumble. The euphoric fighters celebrated with residents of the capital in the city's main square, the symbolic heart of the regime. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
People celebrate the capture in Tripoli of Muammar Qaddafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early Monday, on August 22, 2011. Libyan rebels raced into Tripoli in a lightning advance Sunday that met little resistance as Muammar Qaddafi's defenders melted away and his 40-year rule appeared to rapidly crumble. The euphoric fighters celebrated with residents of the capital in the city's main square, the symbolic heart of the regime. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
Libyan rebel fighters walk past a road sign reading Tripoli (top), Zhrah (middle) and Benghazi (bottom) as rebels advance through the town of Maia, 25 kms (15 miles) west of Tripoli August 21, 2011. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
Rebel fighters speed towards the frontllne fighting in the village of Mayah, some 30 kilometers west of Tripoli, Libya, on August 21, 2011. Fighters said a 600-strong rebel force that set out from Zawiya has reached the outskirts of the village of Jedaim and was coming under heavy fire from regime forces on the eastern side of the town. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
A Libyan rebel tank drives over a sand barricade as rebels advance through the town of Maia, 25 km (15 miles) west of Tripoli, on August 21, 2011. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
Suspected members of the Libyan regime forces are rounded up in a pick-up truck by Libyan rebel fighters in Zawiya, some 40 km west of Tripoli, on August 19, 2011. Libyan rebels had taken two more key objectives in their advance on Tripoli, including the refinery town of Zawiya, as people scrambled to flee the increasingly isolated capital. (Florent Marcie/AFP/Getty Images) #
Pictures of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi decorate the walls of the Zawiya hospital as Libyan rebel fighters fire at regime forces taking shelter inside on August 19, 2011. (Florent Marcie/AFP/Getty Images) #
Prisoners are seen after being freed from a jail in Maya by rebel forces, 25 kilometers west of the capital Tripoli, on August 21, 2011. Explosions and gunfire rocked Tripoli as a months-long uprising pushed through the gates of the Libyan capital, with rebels insisting they are close to toppling Muammar Qaddafi. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Medics treat a pro-Gadhafi fighter in the Abu-Rafat hospital on the outskirts of Zawiya, Libya, on August 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Medics check the body of killed a pro-Gadhafi fighter in the Abu-Rafat hospital on the outskirts of Zawiya, Libya, on August 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
A Libyan rebel celebrates inside the captured military base, "Kilometer 27", home to soldiers loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, 16 kilometers west of the center of Tripoli, on August 21, 2011, as the rebels said victory in Tripoli was imminent and urged NATO to join the final battle with Apache assault helicopters. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Volunteers carry a wounded rebel fighter in the Abu-Rafat hospital on the outskirts of Zawiya, Libya, on August 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Libyan rebel fighters ride through the town of Maia celebrating after advancing to the outskirts of Tripoli, on August 21, 2011. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
The Libyan state television set is seen abandoned at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, on August 22, 2011. Heavy gunfire rang out near the Tripoli hotel, where members of the foreign media are staying, a Reuters correspondent at the hotel said on Sunday. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
In this image made from television, people celebrate in the streets of Tripoli, Libya, on Sunday, August 21, 2011. Libyan rebels had entered the capital Tripoli and were within two miles of the city center. Associated Press reporters with the rebels said they met little resistance Sunday as Muammar Qaddafi's defenders appeared to melt away. (AP Photo/Sky News via APTN) #
People in Benghazi celebrate the capture in Tripoli of Muammar Qaddafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, early Monday, August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #
A woman walks on a street carrying a pre-Qaddafi era flag during the celebrations of the capture in Tripoli of Qaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early Monday, August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #
Fireworks explode as people gather near the courthouse in Benghazi, on August 22, 2011 to celebrate the entry of rebel fighters into Tripoli. Jubilant rebel fighters streamed into the heart of Tripoli as Muammar Qaddafi's forces collapsed and crowds took to the streets to celebrate, tearing down posters of the Libyan leader. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
A man shoots in the air as he celebrates the capture in Tripoli of Muammar Qaddafi's son, Seif al-Islamat, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, on August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #
A rebel fighter, on an anti-aircraft machine gun, celebrates the capture of Muammar Qaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam, in the town of Benghazi, Libya, on August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #
A Libyan rebel security forces member fires his rifle in the air as tens of thousands of Libyans celebrate the news of the arrest of Qaddafi's son Saif al-islam and the partial fall of Tripoli into the hands of the Libyan rebels on August 21, 2011 in Benghazi, Libya. Thousands of residents poured onto the streets to welcome the rebels, congregating at the site which the renamed Martyr's Square near the waterfront in the center of Tripoli. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images) #
Journalists work in the hallway of the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, as gunfire continues around the hotel on Sunday, August 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #
Rebels in Tajura, a suburb of Tripoli, celebrate gaining control of the entire area Tajura, in the early morning on Monday, August 22, 2011. Libyan rebels surged into Tripoli Sunday in a final drive to oust Muammar Qaddafi, seizing swathes of the capital including the symbolic Green Square. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Rebels in Tajura, a suburb of Tripoli, celebrate gaining control of Tajura, in the early morning on Monday, August 22, 2011. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Libyan rebel fighters celebrate as they drive through Tripoli's Qarqarsh district, on August 22, 2011. Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's son Khamis is leading a military force towards central Tripoli, Al Arabiya TV said on Tuesday, citing rebel sources. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
Libyan rebel fighters step on a picture of Muammar Qaddafi at a checkpoint in Tripoli's Qarqarsh district, on August 22, 2011. Libyan government tanks and snipers put up scattered, last-ditch resistance in Tripoli on Monday after rebels swept into the heart of the capital, cheered on by crowds hailing the end of Qaddafi's 42 years in power. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
A rebel fighter watches people along a street in the Libyan capital Tripoli, on August 22, 2011, as heavy fighting raged near the Tripoli compound of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
A dead fighter is covered with a blanket as he lies on a street in the Libyan capital Tripoli, on August 22, 2011, as heavy fighting raged near the Tripoli compound of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Local residents greet advancing rebel fighters on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya, on Monday, August 22, 2011. Clashes broke out early Monday near Muammar Qaddafi's compound in Tripoli, a day after rebels poured into the Libyan capital in a stunning advance that met little resistance from the regime's defenders. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Rebel fighters walk along a residential street in the Libyan capital Tripoli, on August 22, 2011. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man argues with a Libyan rebel fighter (right) after rebels tried to detain one of his workmen (left) near a checkpoint in Tripoli's Qarqarsh district, on August 22, 2011. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
The entrance to the Rixos hotel is abandoned in Tripoli, Libya, on Monday, August 22, 2011. The Rixos hotel housed top government officials, foreign journalists and state television facilities but now just dozens of journalist remain trapped, unable to leave, inside the hotel which is still in control of forces loyal to Libya's Muammar Qaddafi. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #
Libyan rebel fighters celebrate after seizing control of the Qaddafi army women's officer training center in Tripoli's Qarqarsh district, on August 22, 2011. (Reuters/Bob Strong) #
Libyan rebel fighters from Tripoli brigade deface a portrait of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in Tripoli, Libya, on August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Libyan rebel fighters embrace at the former female military base in Tripoli, Libya, on August 22, 2011. Libyan rebels claimed to be in control of most of the Libyan capital on Monday after their lightning advance on Tripoli heralded the fall of Muammar Qaddafi's nearly 42-year regime, but scattered battles erupted and the mercurial leader's whereabouts remained unknown. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
A member of the media stands in the atrium of the Rixos hotel as one half of the hotel experiences a power cut, in Tripoli, on August 22, 2011. Heavy gunfire rang out near the Tripoli hotel where members of the foreign media are staying, a Reuters correspondent at the hotel said on Sunday. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
Libyan rebel fighters seen in front of a burning car after they were attacked by the forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi in downtown Tripoli, Libya, on August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Libyan rebel fighters fire toward forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi during fierce gun battles in downtown Tripoli, Libya, on Monday, August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Smoke billows from a burning car as a Libyan rebel stands guard outside the women's military academy in Tripoli on August 22, 2011. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Libyan rebel fighters shoot towards pro-Qaddafi forces during fighting in downtown Tripoli, Libya,on August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
A Libyan rebel fighter holds a captured pro-Qaddafi fighter, center, inside a military base in Tripoli, Libya, on August 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #
Smoke billows from a neighborhood in the Libyan capital Tripoli on August 22, 2011. (Fikippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Libyans flash victory signs in the capital Tripoli, on August 22, 2011. Libyan rebels declared the "Qaddafi era" over after taking control of most of Tripoli, as jubilant fighters streamed into the capital to join battles near the strongman's compound. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Libyan rebels prepare to break their Ramadan fast with the iftar meal in the capital Tripoli, on August 22, 2011. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
An armed vehicle speeds on the outskirts of Tripoli, as smoke rises over downtown, late Monday, August 22, 2011. Scattered battles continued across the city, and the whereabouts of Muammar Qaddafi remain unknown. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

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