The Envoy

Libyan rebels enter Tripoli

The Envoy

Libyan rebels entered the capital Tripoli Sunday to euphoric celebrations, celebratory gunfire and chants of "God is great," as they appeared to be on the brink of seizing power from Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled the North African nation for almost 42 years. You can see some of the celebrations at the rebels' arrival in the former Gadhafi stronghold in the Associated Press video below.

The Libyan opposition group, the National Transitional Council, claimed late Sunday that it had taken Gadhafi's son and former heir apparent Seif al-Islam Gadhafi into custody. Other reports indicated that another of Gadhafi's sons, Mohammed Gadhafi, was under house arrest. It was not clear where Col. Moammar Gadhafi himself was, with some of the conflicting reports suggesting he may be in his desert operating base of Sirte.

You can see a YouTube video below of an Al Jazeera telephone interview Sunday night with Gadhafi's eldest son Mohammed; it came to an abrupt end after dramatic bursts of heavy gunfire (the bang bang starts about 5 minutes into the Arabic-language interview). Later reports indicated that Mohammed Gadhafi came back on the line to say he was OK and that he was not certain who had been firing.

President Barack Obama issued a written statement from Martha's Vineyard late Sunday saying the Libyan endgame is near and that Gadhafi and his regime should recognize "their rule has come to an end."

"Tonight, the momentum against the Gadhafi regime has reached a tipping point," Obama said in the statement that was released to reporters by the White House. "Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Gadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator."

Obama was briefed on developments in Libya on a 9 p.m. conference call with several members of his national security team--including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns--White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told journalists traveling with the president Sunday.

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