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Report: Italy warned Libya of 1986 attack

ROME, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Italy warned the Libyan government about the U.S. plan to bomb Tripoli a day before the 1986 attack, a Libyan official said Thursday.

Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Shalgam said at a Rome press conference Thursday that Italian Premier Bettino Craxi warned of the impending attack, ANSA reported.

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Shalgam said the warning might have saved the life of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and most of his family.

"Premier Craxi sent an Italian friend we had in common to tell me, 'Watch out, on April 14 or 15 there will be an American raid against Libya," said Shalgam, who at the time was the Libyan ambassador in Rome.

Giulio Andreotti, who was the Italian foreign minister at the time confirmed Shalgam's story. He said the U.S. attack was "a totally improper initiative, an international error."

U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing in retaliation for a terrorist attack attributed to Libyan agents on a Berlin disco that was full of U.S. soldiers.

Three people died and more than 200 were injured when a bomb hidden under a table exploded.

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