Russian Muslim minority wants to help Gaddafi

By REUTERS
April 12, 2011 17:52

 
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MOSCOW - A group of Russian Muslims are waiting for a response from Libya's Muammar Gaddafi to their offer to join his army, a community leader said on Tuesday.

Originally from Russia's volatile mainly Muslim North Caucasus, the Circassian people are scattered across the globe, with diaspora in Turkey, Syria and Libya. A 19th century Tsarist military campaign caused many to flee their homeland.

Their offer to send fighters was first aired at a gathering of Circassian community leaders in early April in the North Caucasus to discuss their reaction to NATO's air strikes.

"We wanted to pay back our debt to Libya for accepting Circassians who fled to the country during the Russo-Circassian War," said Aslan Beshto, who attended the meeting and helped draft an open letter to Gaddafi offering fighting help.

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