Libya Struggles To Quell Spreading Revolt

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi made a brief television appearance early Tuesday to announce that he was still in charge, denying reports that he had fled the country in the face of a spreading revolt.

Speaking to a state television reporter in front of his Tripoli home, Gadhafi said he wanted to show people "that I am in Tripoli, not in Venezuela. Don't believe those dogs in the media."

His 40-second appearance came after his government unleashed warplanes and helicopter gunships Monday in an attempt to bottle up the revolt that captured Benghazi, the country's second-largest city, over the weekend. Witnesses said the aircraft were attacking anti-government demonstrators around Tripoli, the capital.

Libya's government denied it was turning its air force against civilians. Gadhafi's son, Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi, told the state news agency Al-Jamahirya the warplanes were targeting weapons depots in remote areas.

But one witness, who agreed to be identified only as "Adam," said helicopters landed troops "armed to the teeth" in Tripoli's Green Square on Monday to scatter anti-government protesters with automatic weapons and grenades.