June 30th, 2011
01:10 PM ET

Women appear to be armed and fighting for Gadhafi

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is calling for fresh volunteers in a months-long war with rebels attempting to end his 42-year rule - and women of all ages are answering, CNN has learned.

Women from in and around Gadhafi's stronghold of Tripoli have been traveling south to a training facility in Bani Walid to practice with weapons, a common sight in a country where young girls receive military training in schools. As NATO's airstrikes crossed the 100-day mark and rebels continue to fight to oust Gadhafi, he is tapping everything and everyone in his arsenal to hold on to power, reports CNN's David McKenzie.

At the training facility in Bani Walid, women are training to "defend Moammar and the country," said Sgt. Faraj Ramadan, a woman who is training other women to properly handle weapons. "They train to use it, assemble it and take it apart, and to shoot," she told CNN recently. "They were trained and got excellent scores." Read the full story

The news of women apparently coming to Gadhafi's defense comes the same week that the International Criminal Court said it is trying to build a case against Gadhafi for rape as a crime against humanity. Earlier this week, the court issued arrest warrants for Gadhafi and two of relatives for war crimes. A Libyan woman Eman al Obeidy burst into a hotel in Tripoli popular with foreign reporters in April screaming that she had been gang-raped by Gadhafi's militiamen. Al Obeidy's claims were captured by reporters and broadcast around the world. Her story is among several reported by human rights organizations working in and near Libya.

Gadhafi's government has said it has armed more than 1 million civilians with weapons to fight for him. CNN cannot verify this claim.

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Filed under: Libya
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    They fight for him because hes got a big wang.

    June 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Sorry folks, I didn't post that stupid statement about. Again, some Tea Partying troll is just trying to be funny. What I want to say is that it's about time that we hear the truth out of Libya. The right-wing media keeps on belly-hooing about just how "unpopular" Mohammar Qadafft is and the "unequivacal popularity" of the so-called "rebels" who are seeking to install some pro-Western stooge in Qadaffy's place.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • L¹bÿåñ Îñt³l

      Why is everyone always so mean to the Brother Leader? All he want to do is bring peace and puppies to the children. Unless they're filthy western children, then not so much.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pmk1953

    They'll train these women to shoot and the when they are shot at, Gadhafi will claim that NATO is killing "civilians". And the do-gooders will believe them.

    June 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      Of course the NATO air strikes are killing civilians in Libya. Don't let the right-wing news media bamboozle you into thiking otherwise! Then again, that's easily proven since Libya's air force has been virtually eliminated. These NATO leaders have neither any sense of shame nor any decency in them at all.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Well its a tribal culture. These women from his strongholds & around would be loyal to him.
    Whether we report it or not Gaddhafi stil has considerable following in Libya.
    Who says 'NATO' kills civilians? Its either collateral damage or a mistake.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jazzzzzzzz

    Mixed signals here.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    sorry @Jazz. No signals mixed ot otherwise merely the reality on the ground.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jazzzzzzz

    @ saywhat... Not me in the above post and none will be posted by me over the next 5 days. Bye havea a happy 4th YEEE HAAAW :)

    June 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    First, it's war(no matter what the media calls it) so people will die! Second, Gadhafis people have never had freedom, only subjugation, & women more than men. It's understandable that they jump when he says. The whole area over in that neck of the woods is full of civil unrest. It will probably spark WW3! Didn't of those ancient dudes, like Gallileo or Nostradamus predict it(& of course the Bible)?!?

    June 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fernace

    That is " didn't one"... of course!

    June 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jazzzzzzzz

    I will most certainly post. Troll at 3:11,pls get your own name and stop annoying people including me.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    When reports of Iraqi citizens being killed, most all I hear is "Well, that's war. War is hell. Collateral damage." Will someone please thell these Libyan women that very same thing? Look them in the eye when you do, if possible.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jama

    Thank you, USA, France, GB. Now we have many killed people every day. But obviously you are not taking care for civilians. You want to guarantee petroleum and the security of Israel.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mad Hatter

    Ghadfi troops are thinning out and he's desperate so he's forcing the women to fight and when they get too thin he'll force the children to fight.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tony

    this is so old people...

    February 21, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |