Kadhafi says he is safe from Nato bombs
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A defiant Moamer Kadhafi declared in an audio message broadcast on state television on Friday that he was beyond the reach of Nato bombs. The statement followed a government denial of claims made by the Italian foreign minister that the Libyan leader was wounded and on the run.
“I want to say to the crusader cowards that I live in a place where I cannot be reached or killed,” said the message.
A series of six loud explosions rocked the capital Tripoli late Friday and early Saturday as jets flew overhead. Air raids have been taking place on the capital almost nightly.
Questions about Kadhafi’s fate arose on Friday after the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the Libyan leader was “probably outside of Tripoli and probably also injured”.
In Washington, the Libyan rebel movement’s number two, Mahmud Jibril, was received at the White House by President Barack Obama’s national security adviser on Friday.
The White House said the rebels’ National Transitional Council, NTC, was a legitimate and credible voice of the Libyan people, but it stopped short of offering the full diplomatic recognition Jibril was looking for.
There was also no immediate sign of new US financial help for the cash-strapped rebels.
Jibril is to hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday. France, Gambia, Italy and Qatar have all recognised the NTC, but the US says such a step is ‘premature’.
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