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Gaddafi recruiting fighters from African countries: Libya PM

Tripoli, Thu, 20 Oct 2011 ANI

Tripoli, Oct 20 (ANI): Libya's ousted ruler Muammar Gaddafi is believed to be recruiting fighters from other African countries and preparing for a possible insurgency, hoping to destabilize the country's new government.


Libya's acting Prime Minister said Mahmoud Jibril is fearful that Gaddafi will be able to use friendly relations with neighboring countries cultivated during his more than four decades in power to help him launch a bid to return to power.


"Reports have shown that 68 vehicles with at least eight fighters each crossed the Libyan borders to Mali and Gaddafi is hiding in the southern desert," Jibril told reporters.


He said Qaddafi had made a deal with the Hamada tribe, which roams the borders between Chad, Sudan and Libya, to provide 12,000 fighters "to enter Libya and start the fight", CBS News reports.


A NATO spokeswoman had said that the Western military alliance is "very close" to terminating the seven-month long bombing campaign in Libya.


However, Carmen Romero warned that it is still too early to set the exact date because of the continuing threat to civilians from pro-Gaddafi fighters, CBS News reports.


NATO warplanes have reportedly flown over 9,500 strike sorties since the air attacks began on March 19.


With armed opposition to the new Libyan authorities now limited to only a few more towns, the alliance has scaled back on the airstrikes, conducting an average of 15 a day in comparison to about 70-80 a day at the height of the campaign this summer. (ANI)


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