(Euronews: 1530 PST, February 28, 2011) Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi has claimed that his people love him despite a popular uprising calling for his ouster. Talking to Western journalists for the first time since the unrest began, he laughed when he was asked if he will leave Libya.
"Why would I leave Libya?," he said. "They love me. All my people are with me. They will die to protect me."
He went on to claim there were no demonstrations being held against him. Yet the latest footage showed anti-Gaddafi protests in the capital.
(Al Jazeera English: 0908 PST, February 28, 2011) Abdul-Fatah Younis was formerly Libya's interior minister and head of the Libyan Special Forces. Having renounced both his posts last week, he has become one of hundreds of Libyans who have taken up arms to fight Muammar Gaddafi. Jacky Rowland reports.
Unconfirmed reports have begun to emerge in the past several hours that the two main figures of Iran's Green Movement opposition have been arrested and imprisoned. BBC News and other outlets have relayed word that Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and their wives were taken from their respective homes, where they had been placed under house arrest, and brought to Heshmatiyeh prison in Tehran.
The original report came from the Kaleme.com website, translated to English by the blogger BanooyeSabz. Both high-profile opposition leaders had been calling for mass demonstrations in Iran in light of the wave of uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. Mousavi and Karroubi gained international recognition as leaders of the 2009 Green Movement in Iran that was born from protests claiming that the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was flawed.
Iran's Fars news agency, closely tied to the ruling Revolutionary Guard, quotes an unnamed government official who has denied that Mousavi and Karroubi were arrested. The Guardian UK reports that the two men had been under house arrest for over two weeks, and that their imprisonment could spark mass protests from the oppostion.
These reports come as Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi held talks Monday with the European Union's Foreign Policy head Catherine Ashton concerning Iran's nuclear program, according to Reuters. Salehi is preparing to address the United Nations disarmament body Tuesday.