Pro-Gadhafi Forces Attack Rebels Outside Ras Lanuf

In the face of relentless international pressure and a mounting death toll, a defiant Moammar Gadhafi stuck to his assertion that youths misled and drugged by al Qaeda were to blame for the spiraling civil war in Libya.

"For them, everybody's their enemy," Gadhafi said in a speech aired on Libyan state television Wednesday. "They know nothing other than killing."

The speech was pre-recorded Tuesday when Gadhafi addressed a youth group of tribal supporters, urging them to defend Libya from those who envy its standard of living.

"They want to take your petrol," he said. "This is what America, this is what the French, those colonialists, want."

Shortly before midnight Wednesday, Gadhafi arrived at a hotel in the capital city Tripoli where about 100 journalists had been waiting for nine hours.

Surrounded by his security detail, he strode into the lobby, waved at the throng of reporters, pumped his right fist several times into the air, retreated to a private room for an interview with a Turkish journalist, then left via a back door without addressing the reporters.

The interview was to air later Wednesday on Turkish television.

The brief appearance capped a day of confusion, which began with an opposition member first saying they were negotiating an exit deal with Gadhafi, and other members later denying it.