TRIPOLI - Libyan tribes loyal to Muammar Gaddafi called on rebels on Saturday to "return to the fold" and stand united with their leader against NATO airstrikes they likened to Italy's colonial rule.
The call came in a meeting of leaders representing some 420 tribes to which Gaddafi's government brought the foreign media it has permitted in Tripoli. Those journalists operate under close supervision from government minders.
"The Zawarah tribes call on our brothers in the east and in the Western Mountains to ... return to the fold of other Libyan tribes," said Mohammed al-Mansouri, speaking on behalf of tribes from the Zawarah area in the west of Libya.
"Libya's soil is the graveyard of invaders. Ask the fascist Italians what happened to them when they invaded Libya in 1911."