The Bab al-Aziziya compound, now under control of rebels, has been the site of recent, violent fire fights as well as NATO air strikes. Qaddafi’s home was an important symbolic stronghold for loyalists to lose. While Al Jazeera telecasters warned that there was still scattered gunfire, which meant the battle might not be over, rebels and excited civilians celebrated as if it had been won: Television footage showed some kicking a bronze mask of the dictator; others worked to tear down the large statue of a clenched golden fist around an American war plane, a famous signal of the dictator’s defiance. Rebels raised a flag of independence at the compound and shot guns into the air in celebration.
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