Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) condemned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and expressed support for anti-government protesters, Reuters reported on Thursday quoting the SITE Intelligence Group.
According the report, AQIM said Gaddafi hired African mercenaries and ordered aircraft to fire on demonstrators. The group also urged Muslim scholars and journalists to support the Libyan people.
"We were pained by the carnage and the cowardly massacres carried out by the killer of innocents Gaddafi against our people and our unarmed Muslim brothers who only came to lift his oppression, his disbelief, his tyranny and his might," AQIM was quoted as saying in the statement cited by Reuters.
"We call upon the Muslim Libyan people to have steadfastness and patience, and we incite them to continue their struggle and revolution and to escalate it to oust the criminal tyrant," AQIM was quoted as saying.