Gaddafi dismisses protest reports, blames al Qaeda
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi Wednesday dismissed news accounts of protests in Libya, blamed unrest on al Qaeda, and said reports of deaths were exaggerated, suggesting only 150 people had died.
Foreign estimates suggest 2,000 may have died.
"There were no protests at all in the east," he said in a speech.
"Al Qaeda's cells attacked security forces and took over their weapons," he said, adding: "How did that all begin? Small, sleeper al Qaeda cells."
"News reached the world from stations and agencies that did not have correspondents in Libya," he said.
During his speech one woman interrupted and shouted: "How can you go? You will not go and you will never leave! You are all that is good!... You are a sword that does not bend!"
(Writing by Edmund Blair in Cairo)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Qatar will not host 2022 World Cup, says FIFA's Zwanziger
- U.S. and Arab allies launch first strikes on fighters in Syria |
- Israel says its troops kill Hamas men accused of slaying teens |
- AstraZeneca, Shire dive as U.S. tax move punctures deal hopes
- Tesco parachutes in new finance boss to fix accounting scandal