Rebel Government Heads to Tripoli
Celebration on streets of Benghazi
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 3:46 PM CDT
Libyans celebrate in the eastern city of Benghazi as rebels overran Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli after heavy fighting, on August 23, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Aiming to prevent a “vacuum” in Libyan leadership, rebel leaders from the Transitional National Council are traveling from the country’s east to Tripoli, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "We have to be there at the moment of liberation. We can’t leave any opportunities for remnants of the regime," notes one rebel official. "As soon as the regime falls, we have an alternative ready to take over." Meanwhile, the rebel capital of Benghazi is awash in celebration.

Celebratory gunfire, fireworks, and car horns filled the city’s air, the Telegraph reports. "Thank you NATO, thank you Cameron, thank you Sarkozy," cheered one man. But a rebel leader warned that "now is not the time for celebration." First, "we have to control the whole of Baba al-Aziziya"—Moammar Gadhafi’s compound—"and then we need to get the big rat—Colonel Gadhafi, and his sons." The US has offered similar advice to the Libyan rebels (minus the rat part).