Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Monday brushed aside concerns about widespread demonstrations against his rule, and said his people "love him."

"My people love me. They would die for me," Gadhafi told ABC News during his first interview with a U.S. media outlet. 

Gadhafi's latest comments come as rebels continue to clash with Libyan government forces over control of large swaths of the country. Hundreds have been reported killed during the demonstrations against Gadhafi and subsequent violence.

The Libyan leader, who has controlled the country for four decades, has repeatedly declined to step aside, and given a series of rambling speeches on state-run media outlets.

President Obama has condemned Gadhafi's conduct, and the U.S. announced Monday that it froze $30 billion in Libyan assets. Last week, Obama ordered unilateral sanctions against Libya, and is considering other options in accord with the United States's European allies.

In his interview Monday, Gadhafi criticized the West for turning its back on him.

"I'm surprised that we have an alliance with the West to fight al-Qaeda, and now that we are fighting terrorists they have abandoned us," he said. "Perhaps they want to occupy Libya."