Bulldozers demolish Gaddafi compound

TRIPOLI Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:27pm BST

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Two bulldozers guarded by armed men started to demolish the walls around ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi's former home in the Libyan capital Tripoli Sunday.

As the bulldozers set to on the Bab al-Azizyah compound, men chanted, "God is greatest. This is for the blood of the martyrs." Some fired machine guns into the air.

"We are destroying it because we want to demolish anything that belongs to Gaddafi," one gunman, Essam Sarag, told Reuters.

People driving past stopped their cars and joined a crowd waving new Libyan flags.

"We will continue until we destroy everything that belongs to Gaddafi," said Etman Lelktah, who said he was in charge of the fighters at the scene.

"We ask that a peace organisation be built instead of Gaddafi's place."

The heavily fortified compound, six sq-km (2.3 sq mi), was both the seat of Gaddafi's power and his Tripoli home.

It was targeted by NATO warplanes several times before Tripoli fell to the now ruling National Transitional Council in August.

(Writing by Barry Malone; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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