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A bulldozer has destroyed the house of Gaddafi inside the Bab al-Aziziya compound [EPA]

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Libya - Aug 13, 2011 - 15:20

Last modified: 13 Aug 2011 12:20

An imprisoned Libyan army colonel who surrendered to the rebel forces two months ago told AFP on Saturday that Muammar Gaddafi's regime is ridden with divisions and in the process of collapse.

Speaking from a prisoner of war camp in the rebel enclave of Misrata, Colonel Wissam Miland said Gaddafi's military hangs together through coercion and mercenary-enforced martial law, but that infighting is rife.

"I think it will soon collapse," he said, offering a rare glimpse inside Gaddafi's three-pronged loyalist force, made of up army regulars, militia fighters and mercenaries.

"Among the militias, the Libyan soldiers were starting to fight with the foreign mercenaries, there are many problems," he said in an interview.

The prospect that Gaddafi's use of foreign mercenaries may be backfiring will also offer hope that the once oil-rich regime could be running out of options.

While it has long been known that Gaddafi has used paid fighters from Chad, Niger, Mauritania and other Sahel nations, their role has not always been clear.

"Within my unit there were a lot of mercenaries," Miland said. "But they are not fighting with the army -- they surround the army. They don't let anyone fall back. If you retreat, they will kill you."