CNN Wire Staff
Benghazi, Libya (CNN) - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday blamed the violence in his country on young people, who he said are taking some sort of pills and being exploited by Osama bin Laden.
Speaking by phone on state TV as reports came in of pro-Gadhafi forces killing unarmed civilians in the town of Zawiya, Gadhafi said, "Our children have been manipulated by al Qaeda."
"Those exploiting the youth have to be arrested," he added.
Gadhafi also addressed the situation in Zawiya, saying, "We shouldn't leave" the town "without any control."
Ten days into protests that have resulted in his loss of control of eastern Libya and led members of his government to defect, Gadhafi faced new international pressure Thursday. Switzerland ordered that his assets, and those of his entourage, be frozen, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
But Gadhafi showed no sign of considering giving up the post he has held for nearly 42 years. "I have only moral authority," he said, adding, "We have 3 million Libyans - they run the country."
It was unclear what he was referring to: Libya's population is 6.5 million, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Gadhafi's characteristically rambling remarks followed reports that anti-government forces had gained control of Zawiya, west of the capital, Tripoli.
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