May 13th, 2011
07:00 PM ET

Libyan TV broadcasts message from Gadhafi

Washington (CNN) - The voice of embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi was heard on Libyan TV on Friday in an attempt to assure his people that he is alive and in a place where "you cannot kill me."

The audio message was broadcast several times over the course of the day and expressed gratitude to people around the world who were concerned for his safety.

"Tell the crusader cowards that I live in a place you cannot reach me," Gadhafi said.

Libya's combative leader also condemned Thursday's attack that reportedly killed three people. Gadhafi left this message to NATO: "I live in the hearts of millions, and even if you kill my body, you cannot kill my soul that lives in the hearts of millions."

The audio message was released after the Italian foreign minister raised the possibility that the Libyan leader may have been injured after weeks of NATO airstrikes in the country.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he did not have any evidence as to Gadhafi's fate, but Monsignor Giovanni Martinelli, the Catholic archbishop of Tripoli, told him that Gadhafi was wounded, the Italian ANSA news agency reported. Martinelli said Gadhafi was most likely not in Tripoli anymore, Frattini said.

However, Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim said Friday that Ghadafi was in "good health and high spirits" in Tripoli.

Four rockets struck Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound Thursday and killed at least three people, according to a Libyan government official. The Libyan government took journalists near the site of the blast, where smoke could be seen still rising from the compound.

NATO military spokesman Mike Bracken said NATO had struck a command and control center but did not know whether anyone was inside.

A top Libyan opposition leader urged formal U.S. recognition at the White House on Friday, one day after the interim council secured strong support from Britain.

Mahmoud Jibril, president of the Libyan Transitional National Council's Executive Bureau, and his delegation met with top Obama administration officials.

During the meeting, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told the leader of the Libyan opposition group that the U.S. views the group "as a legitimate and credible interlocutor of the Libyan people," according to a White House statement released after the Friday meeting.

The statement stopped short of formal recognition of the Transitional National Council.

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