Gaddafi blames Osama bin Laden for unrest in Libya

Embattled Libyan leader tells state TV al-Qaida, drugged up kids responsible for protests; French rights official says 2,000 killed.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 24, 2011 17:00
1 minute read.
Gaddafi addresses the nation, Tuesday

Gaddafi speech TV 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday alleged that al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden is behind the uprising in his country. Gaddafi made the comments in a phone call to Libyan state TV.

"People were getting all their daily needs ... why did you have to get involved with the Bin Laden ideology," Gaddafi asked.

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A top French human rights official on Thursday said that up to 2,000 people may have been killed so far in the unrest rocking Libya, Reuters reported

Earlier Thursday, a Libyan newspaper said that gun battles at an oil terminal some 30 miles from Tripoli left 10 people dead, according to the report.

Gaddafi added that the unrest in his country is "not people's power," but "international terrorism" in action.

He reiterated the contention that protesters were using drugs.

"People with any brains wouldn't take part in these protests," said Gaddafi, adding that demonstrators were kids who obtained "illegal" pills.

Gaddafi repeatedly compared himself to England's Queen Elizabeth II, saying he was a merely symbolic leader.

The Libyan leader said that he did not know when the violence in the country would end.

He did, however, offer his condolences to the families of four Libyan security officers killed during the uprising, asking if bin Laden would compensate them.


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