Tags: Gadhafi Has 'Suicide Plan' for Capital: Russia Envoy

Gadhafi Has 'Suicide Plan' for Capital: Russia Envoy

Thursday, 14 July 2011 11:16 AM EDT

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has a “suicide plan” to blow up Tripoli if the capital city is seized by rebels seeking to oust the longtime dictator, according to a high-ranking Libyan official.

Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi met with Russia’s special envoy to the North Africa nation, Mikhail Margelov, in June. Margelov said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia: “The Libyan premier told me if the rebels seize the city, we will cover it with missiles and blow it up.”

Margelov added: “I imagine the Gadhafi regime does have such a suicidal plan. Tripoli theoretically could lack ammunition for tanks, cartridges for rifles. But the colonel has got plenty of missiles and explosives.”

Gadhafi has yet to use any of his surface-to-surface missiles against rebel forces, AFP reported.

Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, the Canadian in charge of NATO’s mission in Libya, said he has no knowledge of a Gadhafi suicide plan. But he told reporters: “I can report that the Gadhafi regime has given directions to its forces to destroy certain facilities as they withdraw, such as fuel refineries. This is a leader that will not hesitate to kill his population to achieve his personal goal.”

Gadhafi is wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court for atrocities committed in a crackdown by his forces on pro-democracy protests that erupted in mid-February.

The rebels on Wednesday gained control of the strategic village of al-Qawalish, about 60 miles from Tripoli. According to The Telegraph, they plan to use the village as their “launch pad” for a planned assault on Tripoli.

Russia abstained from a vote on a March UN Security Council resolution that opened the way for foreign involvement and has since criticized the campaign -- particularly arms drops by France.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday for talks on Libya, where Lavrov sought to play down differences between the countries.

However, the Russian foreign ministry said earlier Wednesday that Moscow would not take part in talks on Libya later this week in Turkey, which has also seen itself as a mediator in the conflict.

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Gadhafi Has 'Suicide Plan' for Capital: Russia Envoy
Thursday, 14 July 2011 11:16 AM
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