"I myself would die a thousand times for Qaddafi, even now"

“I myself would die a thousand times for Qaddafi, even now,” said Mr. Mohamed, a 20-year-old soldier, lying in a hospital as a prisoner of the rebels who ousted the Libyan leader. “I love him because he gave us dignity, and he is a symbol for the patriotism of the country.”

A week after rebels breached Colonel Qaddafi’s Tripoli stronghold, Mr. Mohamed offered a bracing reminder of the obstacles confronting the new provisional government still taking shape. Surt, Mr. Mohamed’s hometown as well as Colonel Qaddafi’s, remains under the control of forces loyal to the ousted Libyan leader, and so do Sabha in the south and Bani Walid in the central west…

When the rebel captors entered, Mr. Mohamed often abruptly switched the tone of his comments. “Now I think that all Libya is more united,” he volunteered at one point, temporarily contradicting his previous statements for the benefit of his captors.