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Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi (file photo)
Libyan long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi remains defiant, saying his regime will not collapse under pressure from NATO airstrikes.

“The regime in Libya will not fall — it is based on the people, not on Gaddafi. NATO is wrong if it thinks it can topple the regime of this country,” Gaddafi was quoted by AFP as saying on Friday.

He made the remarks in an audio message relayed to thousands of supporters in Sabha, some 750 kilometers (450 miles) south of Tripoli.

“This gathering of more than a million people is a new message to Europe, to the crusaders and colonialists: the regime does not belong to Gaddafi, it is the people’s regime and the people will not give up an inch of its land or bow down to invaders” Gaddafi added.

The Libyan ruler once again threatened to carry out retaliatory attacks on Europe for waging a war against Libya but stated a chance will be given to European countries to “come to their senses.”

He reiterated that resistance is the only option in front of Libyans and urged NATO to halt attacks on his troops. He added that the fate of Libyan people should be left to their own decisions.

Gaddafi said the Western powers seeking to exploit Libya’s oil are creating trouble for the Libyan people.

MA/MGH