TRIPOLI, Libya - Taunting NATO, Moammar Gadhafi said Friday that he is alive despite a series of airstrikes and "in a place where you can't get to and kill me."
The defiant audio recording was broadcast after the Libyan government accused NATO of killing 11 Muslim clerics with an airstrike on the disputed eastern oil town of Brega. The alliance said it had attacked a military command-and-control center in Brega, 450 miles southeast of Tripoli.
Gadhafi had appeared on state TV but had not been heard speaking since a NATO attack on his Tripoli compound two weeks ago, which officials said killed one of his sons and three grandchildren. In a brief recording played Friday on Libyan TV, Gadhafi said he wanted to assure Libyans concerned about a strike this week on his compound in Tripoli.
"I tell the coward crusaders - I live in a place where you can't get to and kill me," he said. "I live in the hearts of millions."
He referred to a NATO airstrike on Thursday that targeted his Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, claiming it had killed "three innocent journalist-civilians."
Hours after Gadhafi's minute-long speech, the sound of four explosions - most likely a NATO strike - could be heard in Tripoli.
NATO shrugged off Gadhafi's statement.
"We are not targeting him, our targets are solely military," alliance spokeswoman Carmen Romero said in Brussels.
White House meeting: President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Tom Donilon, met at the White House with a delegation from the Libyan Transitional National Council, including top representative Mahmoud Jibril. While the United States stopped short of recognizing the rebel group as Libya's legitimate government, as France and Italy have done, the White House said in a statement that the council is a "credible interlocutor of the Libyan people."
New clashes in Syria kill six protesters
Syrian security forces and snipers opened fire on thousands of protesters Friday, killing at least six people as mass arrests and heavy security kept crowds below previous levels seen during the two-month uprising against President Bashar Assad, activists said. A leading human rights activist said three people were killed in Homs, two in Damascus and one in a village outside Daraa, the southern city where the revolt began two months ago. The violence has become a deadly cycle each week, with protesters taking to the streets every Friday only to be met with bullets, tear gas and batons, with funerals a day later.
Mubarak's wife held: Authorities ordered the detention of Suzanne Mubarak, wife of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, over allegations she took advantage of her husband's position to enrich herself. A doctor said she passed out on hearing the news. The state-owned MENA news agency said prosecutors ordered Mrs. Mubarak, 70, detained for 15 days pending further investigation.
Three killed in Yemen: Security troops opened fire at a protest march in the southern town of Ibb, killing three people and wounding scores, Dr. Mortada Seif said. He said 10 of the wounded were in critical condition.