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In the continuing game of whack-a-mole that is the hunt for Muammar Qaddafi, the on-the-run former Libyan leader showed up in an audio message broadcast on Syria-based Al-Rai TV Thursday, as defiant as ever. "“We are ready to start the fight in Tripoli and everywhere else, and rise up against them,” he said, according to The Telegraph. “All of these germs, rats and scumbags, they are not Libyans, ask anyone. They have co-operated with Nato.”

He also denied reports that he fled to Niger, saying a convoy of cars headed to the neighboring country is nothing out of the ordinary. "How many times do convoys transporting smugglers, traders and people cross the border every day for Sudan, Chad, Mali and Algeria?" he said. "As if this was the first time a convoy was headed towards Niger." He also urged loyalists to defend the country "against all those traitors, the dogs." Meanwhile, the increasingly confident (though occasionally manipulative) anti-Qaddafi fighters say they've surrounded Qaddafi within a 40 mile radius. “He cannot escape,” Anis Sharif, the spokesman for a large rebel militia tells The New York Times. “He doesn’t have a very strong protection with him, not as much protection as we had expected. He only moves at night to avoid NATO airstrikes.” Still, Sharif declined to say where exactly Qaddafi was hiding, only telling the newspaper he was somewhere in the Sahara, which in case you're wondering, constitutes more than half of the entire country. Nice estimate! The Telegraph offers a translation of the audio message below:

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