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Friday, March 18, 2011

I’ll attack passenger jets, warns Gaddafi

TRIPOLI March 18:Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has threatened retaliatory attacks on passenger aircraft in the Mediterranean if foreign countries launched air strikes against Libya.

“Any foreign military act” would expose “all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea” as targets for a counter attack, the Libyan regime said.

The warning was issued after America formally backed a joint British and French initiative for a no-fly zone over Libya and other military action against Col Gaddafi’s regime.

“A no-fly zone requires certain actions taken to protect the planes and the pilots, including bombing targets like the Libyan defence systems,” US Secretary of State Hillay Clinton said during a visit to Tunisia.

“Gaddafi must go,” she added, calling him “a ruthless dictator that has no conscience and will destroy anyone or anything in his way.”

In a statement, the Libyan defence ministry warned of swift retaliation against foreign intervention.

“Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military [facilities] will become targets of Libya’s counter-attack,” it said.

Speaking to state television, Col Gaddafi also urged rebels in Benghazi to surrender, warning: “We are coming tonight, there won’t be any mercy.” He said every house in the city would be searched.

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