07/22/2011, 00.00
LIBYA
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Msgr Martinelli: weekly Mass sign of hope among bombs and fighting

This morning, hundreds attended the Eucharistic celebration in the church of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tripoli. Filipinos and sub-Saharan Africans living presence among the Muslims of Tripoli tired of the war. Air raids continue to pound Tripoli.
Tripoli (AsiaNews) - Bombs and fighting between the army and rebels have failed to discourage migrant Filipino Catholics and sub-Saharan Africans living in Tripoli. This morning hundreds of people attended the weekly Mass in the Church of the Apostolic Vicariate. Archbishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the bishop of the capital, underlines the importance given by the continuity of the Eucharistic celebrations, which in these five months have seen greater and unexpected participation, despite the war.

"For those who remained in Tripoli - says the prelate - Mass became a symbol of communion and strength, which transforms the Friday holy day for Muslims, into a day of real hope, also to be transmitted to the Muslims who are sorely tested war ".

Msgr. Martinelli explains that the population is tired of "this stressful situation which seems to have no end." The Bishop points out that calls for a ceasefire in the month of Ramadan have gone unheeded by both sides. "Last night - he says - there were new raids near Tripoli and in recent days a few kilometres from the capital, the planes unleashed 30 aerial bombs very close to houses. To avoid casualties, NATO warned the population with leaflets launched by the bombers. This is a gesture of attention, but you have to be here to understand what it means for a person to evacuate their homes and flee, at the risk of not finding anything on return. "

According to Msgr. Martinelli, the situation has now reached a dead end. "Unfortunately - he says – the regime and NATO both claim to want dialogue, but neither are making any concrete steps. To this day I still see and hear only news of war and bombs and killings. "

In recent days, France, USA and Italy put forward the hypothesis of a painless exit for Gadaffi, who could stay in the country without holding any political office. Yesterday Mahmoud Jibril, head of the National Transitional Council, warned that "if Gaddafi does not leave power, there is no room for an exchange of ideas. We are not going to negotiate with Gaddafi as long as he stays in power ".

Despite the openings, the Rais says he does not trust the rebels and shows no signs of backing down. "There will be no talks between me them until the Day of Judgement," Gaddafi said in a message released last night on national TV. AsiaNews sources explain that Gaddafi is doing everything possible to counter a possible invasion of Tripoli and in recent days suggested a meeting with all the tribes still loyal to the regime, to make a march on Misurata to dislodge the rebels.

Today, the CNT announced the capture in Zliten (160 km east of Tripoli), one of the main commanders of the Libyan army and stress that they will soon be the gates of the capital. (Sc)
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