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Gadhafi’ has called on Libyans in the rebel-held east of the country to take back control from the opposition leaders who have seized the territory.

Addressing a group of youths from the town of Zintan, 75 miles southwest of Tripoli, Gadhafi again blamed al-Qaeda operatives from Egypt, Algeria, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories for the turmoil roiling his country since Feb. 15.

Libya‘s state television broadcast Gadhafi’s address early on Wednesday, but did not say when the Libyan leader had spoken.

Pro-Gadhafi forces have been battling rebel forces in the east of the country and in a handful of others near the capital Tripoli, which remains under the control of his regime.

Gadhafi has been in power since 1969.