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Gadhafi: Libyans love, would die for him

Feb. 28, 2011 at 4:09 PM   |   Comments

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TRIPOLI, Libya, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Strongman Moammar Gadhafi says Libyans love him and would die for him, while denying there were demonstrations against him anywhere in the country.

"My people love me. They would die for me," Gadhafi said in an interview with ABC News, the BBC and the Sunday Times of London in Tripoli.

The leader, subject of anti-government demonstrations seeking his ouster, laughed when asked whether he would step down as sought by U.S. President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Western leaders.

He invited the United Nations and any other organization to visit Libya on a fact-finding mission and wondered how his assets could be frozen, sanctions imposed and a travel ban put in place based on media reports, ABC News reported.

Gadhafi, as in speeches he has made to his supporters, blamed al-Qaida for encouraging young people to revolt and said anyone protesting against him was on drugs. He also called the people who took over Benghazi terrorists and al-Qaida operatives.

He also said he didn't think people were demonstrating against him and repeatedly denied using force against Libyans.

Gadhafi said he also felt betrayed by the United States, ABC News reported and that maybe Obama had received some misinformation about the events in Libya.

"I'm surprised that we have an alliance with the West to fight al-Qaida, and now that we are fighting terrorists they have abandoned us," he said. "Perhaps they want to occupy Libya."

He said statements he's heard from Obama "must have come from someone else. America is not the international police of the world."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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