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Gaddafi claims regime 'still alive'

Muammar Gaddafi has claimed his regime is still alive in Libya and has called his opponents' takeover of all but a few pockets of the country a charade.

Gaddafi got the message out on a Syrian-based satellite station that has become his main mouthpiece.

Al-Rai TV released written excerpts of his remarks on Tuesday.

The deposed leader says what is happening is a "charade" imposed on Libyans through Nato airstrikes that will not last forever.

There was no accompanying audio of his voice, but he has used the channel numerous times to put out messages urging his supporters to fight on.

His whereabouts remains unknown.

His statement came just hours after revolutionary fighters captured the airport and other parts of a southern desert city that is one of the last remaining strongholds of Gaddafi's forces, even as military offensives stalled to the north.

The capture of Sabha would be a welcome victory for Libya's new rulers, who have struggled to rout forces loyal to Gaddafi a month after sweeping into Tripoli and forcing the ousted leader into hiding. He has not been found.

A push to capture Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte and the mountain enclave of Bani Walid has stalled as well-armed forces loyal to the fugitive leader fight back fiercely with rockets and other heavy weaponry.

Libya's new rulers have frequently claimed gains only to find their forces beaten back.

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