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Libya state TV goes off the air

(AFP) / 22 August 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya — Libyan insurgents on Monday seized control of the state broadcaster in the capital Tripoli, rebel military spokesman Mohammed Zawiwa told AFP.

“All the television stations controlled by the state have stopped transmitting (in Tripoli). Our fighters have gone in and taken control of the facilities,” Zawiwa said.

Al-Jamahiriya state broadcaster went off the air at around 1400 GMT.

Television screens suddenly turned black while minutes later the network’s logo appeared at the bottom right of the screen with no picture or sound transmitted.

Libyan opposition websites said rebels, who have taken large swathes of Tripoli where they control several neighbourhoods, seized the headquarters of the television. The claim could not be independently confirmed.

Zawiwa said rebels were expected to spread their control over all of Tripoli later on Monday.

“Small, pro-Gaddafi groups are still fighting in the city but Tripoli is almost all in our hands. The fighting should stop by the end of the day,” he said.

The whereabouts of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, who has vowed to go down fighting, remain unknown, he added.

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