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A NORTH Korean defector has revealed she saw 11 musicians “blown to bits” by anti-aircraft guns in a terrifying execution ordered by maniacal dictator Kim Jong-un.

Hee Yeon Lim, 26, the daughter of a high-ranking soldier from Pyongyang, fled to South Korea last year and has told of the horrors she witnessed while part of the secretive Kim regime’s inner circle.

Speaking with The Mirror, she described one occasion where she was pulled out of school by soldiers and forced to watch a group of musicians accused of making a pornographic video being slaughtered.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions have shocked the world. Picture: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

Hee Yeon said she and her classmates were taken to a stadium at the city’s Military Academy where the hooded and gagged victims were tied to the end of anti-aircraft guns in front of some 10,000 spectators.

The escapee then recalled how the guns were fired one by one, saying: “The musicians just disappeared each time the guns were fired into them. Their bodies were blown to bits, totally destroyed, blood and bits flying everywhere.”

Afterwards, Hee Yeon said tanks moved in and ran over the pieces of the victims’ bodies.

She added: “The tracks of the tanks were run over the remains and blood repeatedly, over and over again and made to grind the remains, to smash them into the ground until there was nothing left.”

Left feeling “desperately ill” after the grim spectacle, she later decided to escape the country.

When her father, Colonel Wui Yeon Lim, 51, passed away, she and her family fled the hermit kingdom to China in 2015 before arriving in South Korea capital Seoul last year.

The family paid people smugglers to drive them across the border to China, before travelling on to South Korea via Laos.

And despite her family’s relative privilege, Hee Yeon said she witnessed many other “terrible things” in her home city of Pyongyang — including dictator Kim’s use of teenage sex slaves.

US President Donald Trump (left) has dubbed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man”. Picture: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

She said officials came to her school to pick out teen schoolgirls to work at the dictator’s homes.

The escapee said they would only choose the prettiest girls, who were taught to feed him caviar and massage his body. If they refused they would “disappear”, she said.

Hee Yeon — who has met the terrifying despot — also told how he would gorge on imported delicacies like caviar and Chinese “Bird’s Nest Soup” which can cost $3300 per kilo.

In 2016, a shock report estimated tyrant Kim had executed 340 people since coming to power in 2011.

Of those killed, nearly half were senior officers in his own government, military and the ruling Korean Worker’s Party.

The brutal punishments meted out for “crimes” including having a “bad attitude”, treachery and for one poor party member slouching in a meeting.

In his debut speech to the United Nations on Monday, US President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” after referring to Kim as “Rocket Man”.

The Institute for National Security Strategy — a South Korean think tank — released “The misgoverning of Kim Jong-un’s five years in power” detailing how he uses executions to tighten his grip on power.

Earlier this year, the country’s top schools official was executed by firing squad after he exercised a “bad attitude” at the country’s Supreme People’s Assembly in June.

In May 2015, Kim had defence minister Hyon Yong-chol killed with an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in Pyongyang, in front of an audience which included his own family who were reportedly made to watch the slaughter.

Kim’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was assassinated. Picture: AFP/Toshifumi Kitamura

Two years earlier, in 2013, Kim’s own uncle Jang Song-thaek was executed for trying to overthrow the government.

In February, South Korea’s spy agency claimed Kim brutally executed five senior officials with anti-aircraft guns because they made false reports which “enraged” him.

The National Intelligence Service made the claims in a private briefing to politicians just days after Kim’s estranged older half-brother Kim Jong-nam was poisoned in a suspected assassination believed to have been ordered by the dictator.

An investigation is ongoing but South Korea says it believes Kim Jong-un ordered the killing of his sibling on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur’s airport.

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RUSSIA REBUKES TRUMP OVER NORTH KOREA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he is “extremely concerned” after President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday he was prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea.

Mr Lavrov said Russia, which shares a border with North Korea, believes negotiations and diplomacy are the only way to resolve a crisis over Pyongyang’s missile program.

“If you simply condemn and threaten, then we’re going to antagonise countries over whom we want to exert influence,” said Mr Lavrov.

Russia’s rebuke comes as Mr Trump hit out at former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton over Kim’s despotic regime, tweeting: “After allowing North Korea to research and build Nukes while Secretary of State (Bill C also), Crooked Hillary now criticizes.”

THE SHAME OF HUMANITY THAT IS THE NORTH KOREAN LEADERSHIP

Kim Jong-un-criminal killer imsge www.crimefiles.net

KOREAN KILLER KIM SLAUGHTERS THE INNOCENTS WITH NO REMORSE

Eighty people have been executed by firing squad in North Korea for watching foreign films, according to a newspaper report.

South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported that the co-ordinated public executions took place in seven separate cities earlier this month. In one case, the local authorities rounded up 10,000 people, including children, and forced them to watch, it reported.

Those put to death were found guilty by the state of minor misdemeanours, including watching videos of South Korean television programs or possessing a Bible.

Sources told the paper that witnesses saw eight people tied to stakes in the Shinpoong Stadium, in Kangwon Province, before having sacks placed over their heads and being executed by soldiers firing machine guns. ”I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were so riddled by machine-gun fire that they were hard to identify afterwards,” a source said.

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Relatives and friends of the victims were reportedly sent to prison camps, a tactic that North Korea frequently uses to dissuade anyone from breaking the law.

”Reports on public executions across the country would be certain to have a chilling effect on the rest of the people,” Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea analyst with the International Crisis Group in Seoul, said.

”All these people want to do is to survive and for their families to survive. The incentives for not breaking the law are very clear now.”

The mass executions could signal a broader crackdown on any hints of discontent among the population – and even rival groups in Pyongyang – against the rule of Kim Jong-un, who came to power after the death of his father in December 2011.

In a new report, the Rand Corporation think-tank claims that Mr Kim survived an assassination attempt and that his personal security has since been stepped up dramatically. The report concurs with South Korean intelligence sources that stated in March that a faction within the North Korean army had been involved in an attempt on Mr Kim’s life in November last year.

Telegraph, London

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THE CHILD BUTCHER DESPOT KIM OF NORTH KOREA JUSTIFIES KILLINGS

Kim Jong-un's North Korea

THE former girlfriend of Kim Jong-un has been executed by firing squad in a sex tape porn scandal.

Singer Hyon Song-wol was one of 12 members of the Unhasu Orchestra and the Wangjaesan Light Music Band reportedly gunned down after being accused of violating anti-pornography laws by videotaping themselves having sex and selling copies of the tape to North Korean fans and in China.

Kim’s ex-girlfriend executed by firing squad in porn scandal

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Being overly sexual is not the only deadly pastime in North Korea.

What else can get you shot? Well, pretty much anything Kim Jong-un doesn’t approve of – from making phone calls to driving a Ford.

And the executions are particularly fast and brutal, with prisoners fed liquor and gagged then killed with no chance for reprieve.

NKOREA-POLITICS

The North’s legal system is dominated by the dynastic Kim family’s personality cult. Kim’s word – as was that of his father before him – is writ. His orders stand above the law, including the constitution, all forms of civil law and even above the influential Workers’ Party of Korea Charter.

Capital punishment is fairly common and is used for many offences, such as murder, rape, drug smuggling, treason, espionage, political dissidence and grand theft.

But it’s also used for defectors, piracy, prostitution, consumption of media not approved by the government, and proselytising religious ideals that contradict North Korea’s idiosyncratic Juche ideology.

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Executions are carried out by firing squad in public, making North Korea one of the last five countries to still perform public executions; the other four being Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.

These are some of the “offences” that can result in death:

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Making international phone calls

A factory chief accused of making international phone calls was executed by a firing squad in a stadium before 150,000 spectators, a South Korean aid group reported. The 74-year-old man was shot in October 2007 for making international calls on 13 phones he installed in a factory basement, the Good Friends aid agency said. The execution sparked a stampede which killed six people.

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Drinking when you should be mourning

A senior North Korean military officer was executed with a mortar round for drinking alcohol during the 100-day mourning period for the late Kim Jong-il. Kim Chol, vice-minister of the army, was “obliterated” after being forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round. The execution – a month after Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack – came on the orders of his son and successor, Kim Jong-un, that “no trace” of the offender be left behind, South Korea’s media reported.

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Turning off the lights

 

In 2009, two officials from the Ministry of Electric Industry were executed for “shutting down the electricity supply” to the Sunjin Steel Mill in Kimchaek. The mill is an important cog in the wheels of Chinese-North Korean trade. Apparently, then-leader Kim Jong-il ordered the diversion of power from the mill to Pyongyang, but that didn’t save the two hapless officials.

Smuggling timber. And driving a Ford

In August 2007, another factory manager, Oh Moon Hyuk, was executed for smuggling timber to China. His execution was reported as a typical case of public order disturbance. He is known to have had a villa and a mistress and to have driven a Ford car, a report on the authoritative DailyNK site said.

Not understanding the economy

In 2010, senior official Pak Nam-gi was shot by firing squad after he was blamed for currency reforms that damaged North Korea’s already ailing economy and potentially affected the succession of Kim Jong-un. Pak Nam-gi, 77, was the Workers party chief for planning and was put to death as “a son of a bourgeois conspiring to infiltrate the ranks of revolutionaries to destroy the national economy”Yonhap news agency reported at the time.

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Stealing corn

In 2011, a man who stole 50kg of corn – worth about $20 – was one of four people reportedly shot in a vacant lot in front of a cement factory in Pyongyang. A source told DailyNK: “One of them was for stealing oil from a transformer, another one stole cables, and another stole 50 kilograms of corn from a collective farm and then sold it in the jangmadang.” The source was not aware of the fourth person’s crime.

Other crimes documented by aid agencies and human rights organisations and reported by defectors and North Korea watchers, include embezzlement, smuggling and even possessing US dollars.

If some of the crimes seem petty, the method of execution is brutal.

One source told how once a public execution has been decided, the authorities don’t give any opportunity to make excuses for the crime. “After feeding the prisoner a glass of liquor, they put a gag in his or her mouth and carry out the execution,” the source was quoted as saying.

In another case a man found guilty of illegally selling goods to China was put before the firing squad and 90 shots were fired in contrast to the usual practice of nine shots for one person. Thirty of the charges were fired from an automatic rifle.

Bizarrely, some executions are made to look like traffic accidents, according to Amnesty International.

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Amnesty’s latest annual report says North Korea continues to refuse access to independent observers, while executions for political offences are continuing and freedom of religion is severely restricted.

The UN Human Rights Committee and the EU expressed serious concerns to Pyongyang about human rights last year.

The families of the executed have allegedly been sent to prison camps under the rogue country’s guilt by association laws.

Kim and Hong dated until his despot dad Kim Jong-il ordered their relationship to end.

They were rumoured to be having an affair despite eventually marrying other people, with Kim’s new wife Ri Sol-ju herself a former member of the Unhasu Orchestra.

“Kim Jong-un has been viciously eliminating anyone who he deems a challenge to his authority,” a source told Chosun Ilbo, adding the executions “show that he is fixated on consolidating his leadership”.

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Hyon – famous for propaganda songs including Footsteps of Soldiers, I Love Pyongyang and We are Troops of the Party – was a singer with the country’s popular Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble.

“They were executed with machine guns while the key members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band and Moranbong Band as well as the families of the victims looked on,” a source said.

A VIDEO of three Korean women dancing in leotards is rumoured to be the “sex tape” Kim Jong-Un used to justify the execution of his ex-girlfriend.

The seemingly innocuous clip shows the trio dancing to a version of Elvis Presley’s Aloha Oe in cowboy hats and tasselled skirts, The Daily Mail reports.

But reports from China suggest that it was this video that led to the execution of Hyon Song-wol and 11 other entertainers last month.

KIM JONG-UN HAS EX-GIRLFRIEND EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD

HOW TO AVOID GETTING SHOT IN NORTH KOREA

South Korean media reported last week that Hyon had been killed by machine gun fire amid claims that she had been appearing in pornographic videos. Twelve singers, musicians and dancers from two pop groups are said to have been executed on August 20.

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IT SEEMS OBLITERATE THE REGIME IN SYRIA THAT GASES ITS OWN PEOPLE

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to be tried as a mass murderer

Gas clue in Syria phone call,War clouds.

MURDEROUS REGIME THAT IS SYRIA DEPICTS HORRORS IN THESE VIDEOS & PICS

United States intelligence services overheard a Syrian official in ”panicked phone calls with the leader of a chemical weapons unit” after last week’s alleged chemical attack, Foreign Policy magazine has reported.

”An official at the Syrian Ministry of Defence exchanged panicked phone calls with leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1000 people,” the report said.

”Those conversations were overheard by US intelligence services,” the magazine said on Tuesday. ”That is the major reason why American officials now say they’re certain that the attacks were the work of the Bashar al-Assad regime – and why the US military is likely to attack that regime in a matter of days.’

The body of a victim who was killed by what activists say was a chemical weapons attack and discovered on Friday, is seen in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus

United Nations investigators in Syria on Tuesday embarked on a hunt from bomb craters to blood samples for evidence of chemical weapons, even as officials from the US and Britain said it was indisputable the agents had been used.

”The best evidence you can find is an actual weapon, even if it’s exploded or broken up,” said Ralf Trapp, a former adviser at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

”If you find a weapon you can tell whether it was something that was designed to deliver a liquid, and you will have residual contamination.”

Video footage of victims posted on the internet is convincing to Dr Trapp. ”It’s [on] a scale where you cannot stage it,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said three hospitals it supports in Damascus had treated about 3600 patients with neurotoxic symptoms in less than three hours on August 21, and that 355 died.

The Syrian regime, backed by Russia and Iran, has said rebels were behind the attacks.

”We all hear the drums of war around us,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said. ”If they want to attack Syria, I think that using the lie of chemical weapons is fake and not accurate, and I challenge them to show evidence.”

The UN’s inspection team includes nine OPCW investigators and three experts from the World Health Organisation. The OPCW is a multinational group established to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention, which went into force in 1997 and bans the development, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical arms.

Longer-lasting byproducts of a nerve agent such as sarin can be found in soil, rubble or animal corpses, Dr Trapp said.

Sarin interferes with cholinesterase, an enzyme in the body that regulates the movement of muscles and glands. Victims can survive if treated quickly enough with antidotes.

Doctors Without Borders said staff at its hospitals in Damascus reported large numbers of patients arriving with symptoms including convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress.

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The UN investigators may be able to test survivors for depressed levels of cholinesterase, Dr Trapp said. But to establish the precise agent responsible, blood would need to be sent out for testing.

History suggests a thorough analysis is needed before the US and its allies decide whether to take military action, said Matthew Meselson, co-director of the Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons.

While initial reports of Iraq’s deadly chemical attack on Kurds in Halabja in 1988 proved correct, US accusations in 1981 that Russia had supplied a chemical agent that communist forces in Vietnam and Laos dispersed over Thailand were false; the so-called ”yellow rain” turned out to be honeybee droppings.

”It’s essential that any head of state or government official who’s making momentous decisions on the basis of chemical analysis must talk not just with other political figures or subordinates, but with individuals who are deeply knowledgable about the science itself,” Professor Meselson said.

Bloomberg, AFP, Washington Post

Damascus, Syria (CNN) — Saying “there is no doubt who is responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons attack in Syria: the Syrian regime,” Vice President Joe Biden signaled Tuesday that the United States — with its allies — was ready to act.

“Those who use chemical weapons against defenseless men, women and children should and must be held accountable,” Biden said in a speech to the American Legion.

The vice president’s remarks echo those made by other U.S. officials in recent days, as well as many of the nation’s foremost allies.

Dead animals are seen at the Zamalka area, where activists say chemical weapons were used by forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad in the eastern suburbs of DamascusA man inspects bodies of victims found on Friday and were killed by what activists say was a chemical weapons attack, in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus130827102208-01-syria-morgue-story-top

French President Francois Hollande said his administration was “ready to punish those who made the decision to gas these innocent people,” adding that “everything leads us to believe” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are responsible.

British Prime Minister David Cameron — who talked Tuesday with U.S. President Barack Obama — called lawmakers back from their summer vacations to consider a response to Syria, as the UK military prepares contingency plans.

 

And U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the BBC on Tuesday that U.S. forces are “ready to go” if ordered to strike Syria by President Barack Obama.

“The options are there. The United States Department of Defense is ready to carry out those options,” Hagel said.

Western leaders were reacting to a growing consensus that the Syrian regime was responsible for an August 21 attack that killed more than 1,300 people, most of them dying from exposure to toxic gases, according to rebel officials. The opposition — which has said it’s been targeted by chemical weapons attacks in the past as well — backed up its latest allegations with gruesome video of rows of dead bodies, including women and children, with no visible wounds.

Opinion: For U.S., Syria is truly a problem from hell

Syrian officials, though, have steadfastly denied using chemical weapons in this or other cases.

Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said Tuesday that his government would never use such munitions against its own people, daring those who disagree to present evidence publicly.

He said rebel forces were to blame for security concerns near the suspected chemical sites, arguing that Western leaders are using the claims as an excuse to go after al-Assad’s regime.

“We all hear the drums of war,” Moallem said. “They want to attack Syria. I believe to use chemical weapons as a pretext is not a right.”

And if foreign powers do strike the Middle Eastern nation, its foreign minister said the government and its forces will fight back.

“Syria is not easy to swallow,” said Moallem. “We have the materials to defend ourselves. We will surprise others.”

U.N. inspectors in Syria, but what will they find?

The United Nations has sent inspectors to Syria to try to get to the bottom of the wildly conflicting accounts of chemical warfare.

The opposition says chemical payloads were among the ordnance fired into the rebel stronghold of Ghouta. The government, via state TV reports, claims that its forces came into contact with toxic gas Saturday in Jobar, on the edge of Damascus — blaming this on “terrorists,” the term it commonly uses for rebel fighters.

CNN could not independently confirm either account, including videos purported to show the aftermath of each.

U.S. considers military action in Syria

The case against Syria

Syria warns U.S. against attack

Missile strikes on Syria likely response to chemical attack

On Monday, U.N. inspectors visited the town of Moadamiyet al-Sham, despite a close call with snipers that left one of their vehicles damaged and an explosion nearby.

The inspectors had been expected Tuesday to head to Ghouta, but that trip was pushed back a day “in order to improve preparedness and safety for the team.”

Moallem blamed rebel forces for failing to guarantee the U.N. group’s safety and denying that its forces have delayed inspections by continually shelling Ghouta.

Video posted Tuesday to YouTube purported to show the area being shelled, though CNN could not verify this video’s authenticity.

Yet Biden reiterated the claim that Syrian forces were shelling the suspected chemical attack site. And U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said it may be too late for a valid inspection of what happened — saying “too much time has passed” and accusing al-Assad’s government of using the U.N. investigation “as a stalling tactic or a charade to hide behind.”

The United States, meanwhile, is conducting its own investigation: An intelligence report detailing evidence of the alleged attack could be released as early as Tuesday, a U.S. official told CNN. The report will include forensic evidence and intercepted communications among Syrian military commanders, according to the official.

The vice president said that beyond whatever inspectors do or do not find, common sense and the recent past point to one culprit.

“The Syrian regime are the only ones who have the weapons, have used chemical weapons multiple times in the past, have the means of delivering those weapons, have been determined to wipe out exactly the places that were attacked by chemical weapons,” he said Tuesday.

Russia leads international charge against strikes

The calls for a military response were not without opposition.

Russia is leading the charge internationally, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov having said there is no proof yet Syria’s government is behind last week’s chemical attack. His office compares the Western allegations against Syria to claims Iraq was hoarding weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. invasion in 2003 — allegations that fell apart once American troops began searching for them.

Intervening in Middle East turmoil: Mission impossible?

And Tuesday, Russia’s foreign ministry accused Washington of trying to “create artificial groundless excuses for military intervention.”

Syria’s wounded treated in Israel

Horrific video we must show you

Moscow bemoaned the U.S. postponement of a meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday in The Hague, where top diplomats from both countries had planned to discuss the war in Syria.

And Russia criticized the United States for, in its view, trying to bypass the U.N. Security Council to take action on the reported chemical attack.

Should anything be moved through the U.N. council, Russia — which has a permanent seat on it — could block it.

Still, that’s what former British Foreign Secretary David Owen urged world leaders to do before unleashing missiles or warplanes on Syrian targets.

Omran al-Zoubi, Syria’s information minister, on Tuesday challenged the United States to “present this proof to the rest of the world” — claiming that they are asking for trouble if they do not.

“If they don’t have proof or evidence, then how are they going to stand up to the American public opinion and to the world public opinion and explain why they are attacking Syria?” al-Zoubi told CNN from Damascus.

Some worldwide have expressed concern that intervening in Syria may provoke broader conflict in the Middle East or ensnare Western powers in another bloody conflict after years of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cameron said that he understands those concerns, vowing that any action would have to be “proportionate, … legal (and) would have to be specifically about deterring the use of chemical weapons.”

Still, he said it’s critically important that action be taken to show the international taboo against chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

“This is not about wars in the Middle East; this is not even about the Syrian conflict,” he said. “It’s about use of chemical weapons and making sure, as a world, we deter their use and we deter the appalling scenes we’ve all seen on our television screens.

Syria diplomacy: Why Jordan wants military meeting to be hush-hush

CNN’s Fred Pleitgen reported from Syria. CNN’s Hamdi Alkhshali reported from Atlanta and Jomana Karadsheh from Jordan. Michael Pearson wrote and reported from Atlanta. CNN’s Greg Botelho, Ben Brumfield, Boriana Milanova, Chris Lawrence, Jim Acosta, Josh Levs, Joe Sterling, Elise Labott, Jill Dougherty and Saskya Vandoorne also contributed to this report.

However the video below gives another side to the war mongering gas attack scenario by the Syrian regime. It highlights that the rebels supported by the USA were responsible for the attack.You be the judge.

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THE BILLIONS STASHED WORLDWIDE BY GADDAFI TO BE RETURNED

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THE CRIMINAL DICTATOR & DESPOT WHO STOLE THE MANY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM THE PEOPLE WHO WERE UNDER HIS CARE IS FINALLY HOPEFULLY GOING TO GET HIS JUST DESERTS IN THAT THE STOLEN MONEY IS TO BE RETURNED TO THE PEOPLE

Assets worth billions of dollars belonging to slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi are thought to be held by South African banks according to a newspaper report.

South Africa’s Sunday Times reported reported that Libyan investigators had found evidence that more than $1 billion in cash, gold and diamonds was being held by four South African banks and two local security companies.

The paper reported that the claims are being investigated by the office of the South African Finance Minister and that Libyan officials also met with President Jacob Zuma and the Justice Ministry of the African nation in attempts to return the loot.

Gaddafi was killed in October 2011 during the North African country’s revolution and the new government has been trying to repatriate the dictator and his family’s assets which by some accounts could top $80 billion are are stashed in bank accounts and vaults around the world.

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THE TYRANT GADDAFI HAS BEEN KILLED BY REBELS

Libyans are rejoicing at the news that once-feared dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been killed in his hometown of Sirte. Keep updated with the latest developments here. All times in AEDT.

11.41am: Australian Libyans have shared in the joy of their countrymen and women at news of Gaddafi’s death. NSW student Fouad Elgahwash told AAP he dreamt that Libya would become a new nation.

The 39-year-old Libyan national, who is studying at the University of Wollongong, said his brother was among the rebel fighters in the town of Sirte when Gaddafi was captured. “I called my brother maybe five o’clock this morning, he told me we have got Gaddafi at Sirte and they’ve killed him,” Elgahwash told AAP.

“I think Libyan people at the moment are so happy because Gaddafi can’t dictate anymore. “I’m very happy, you know, because I’m Libyan. Now we can renew and rebuild a new Libya.”

Elgahwash said his brother had since returned safely to his family in the northwestern city of Zawiya, west of Tripoli. “(They’re feeling) very, very, very happy because they don’t have to fight anymore,” Elgahwash said. “My dream is to make a new Libya. That there’s no jihad, there’s no killing, just open the doors … to make a new community in the world, a new country.”

11.18am: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has released a statement, hailing Gaddafi’s death as a “day of relief” for the country of Libya.

“Australia recognises today as a day of relief in Libya as the long war of liberation comes to an end. Australia also recognises today as a beginning as well as an end.

“The work to unite Libya and to repair its economy and its town and cities will take some time. We stand ready to continue this assistance.”

Her words were echoed by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

“He was one of the world’s worst dictators and I think the world is well rid of him,” Mr Abbott told the Nine Network. “The hope now must be that the people of Libya can now enjoy a relatively free and fair society.”

11.03am: Speculation continues to swirl about Gaddafi’s final moments. CBS news reports his final words were:

  • “Don’t kill me. Don’t kill my sons.”

Others reports quoted the dictator saying:

  • “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” and turning to a rebel soldier, asking
  • “What did I ever do to you?”

Interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told Reuters the dictator was shot in the arm as he was hauled from his drain pipe hiding spot and into a waiting truck. The truck was then “caught in crossfire” as it ferried the 69-year-old to hospital. “He was hit by a bullet in the head,” Jibril said, adding it was unclear which side had fired the fatal shot.

But a National Transitional Council source told Reuters he was attacked while being dragged away. “While he was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed him.”

In a telephone interview with NPR, Jibril went on to say: “Nobody can tell if the [fatal] shot was from the rebel fighters or from his own security guard.”

10.36am: Gaddafi’s death has had surprisingly little impact on the oil price, despite the development likely leading to a full restoration of Libya’s oil exports.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in November, fell 81 US cents to $US85.30 a barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for December pushed $US1.38 higher to finish at $US109.76 on the Intercontinental Exchange.

Gaddafi’s death “actually means little for today’s oil price, but it does remove one of a series of risk factors to a sustained ramp-up in Libyan production,” JPMorgan analyst Lawrence Eagles said.

Libya produced about 1.4 million barrels per day of mostly high-value light sweet crude before the rebellion against Gaddafi broke out at the start of 2011. Around 85 per cent of Libyan output was exported to Europe, and its disappearance contributed to the surge in Brent crude from the North Sea, in comparison to New York-traded WTI.

OPEC sees member Libya restoring production to one million barrels per day within six months, then attaining pre-conflict levels by the end of 2012. But analysts at Barclays Bank warned that “serious security challenges persist in Libya that could hinder efforts to restore Libyan production fully”.

10.25am: Freelance Middle East reporter Holly Pickett was in Libya reporting on the downfall of Gaddafi and has described on Twitter the scene as an ambulance carrying the dictator went racing past.

  • I saw the body of Col. Muammar #Gaddafi. So weird. #Sirte #Libya.
  • We were in a residential area behind the field hospital. Suddenly an ambulance races by with the body of #Gaddafi. We chased. #Libya
  • The ambulance with #Gaddafi’s body stopped very briefly at the field hospital, then hit the highway for Misrata. #sirte #Libya
  • 10 Revolutionaries were packed inside. The doors were open, but it was difficult to see #Gaddafi. We drove close to
  • the open door. #Libya
  • From the side door, I could see a bare chest with bullet wound and a bloody hand. He was wearing gold-colored pants. #Gaddafi #Libya
  • We fell back behind the ambulance and they opened rear the door to reveal a partly bald, bloody head with frizzy black hair. #Gaddafi #Libya
  • There is no question it was #Gaddafi. Every time the ambulance stopped, it was mobbed by rebels. Everyone was going nuts. #Libya
  • At every checkpoint between #Sirte and #Misrata, crowds had gathered and wanted to know if we were the ambulance with #Gaddafi’s body in it.
  • Upon hearing the truth, that #Gaddafi was truly dead, revolutionaries at the checkpoints were beside themselves, shouting with joy. #Libya
  • Not sure where #Gaddafi’s body went. It must have been to a very secure location. I think Misratans may have torn him to shreds. #Libya
  • I meant Misratans would tear him to shreds if the body wasn’t closely guarded. #Libya. #Tweetingisnewtome

10.17am: Libyans have celebrated the death of Gaddafi by pouring out into the streets and firing guns into the air, as is customary in the Arab world. But just how dangerous is this? Very, as you’d expect, with numerous examples of people being accidentally shot while being caught up in the revelry. Here’s an interesting BBC feature that looks into the custom.

10am: Here’s an update of events as they have developed so far:

  • Muammar Gaddafi has been killed during a battle between rebel and loyalist forces in his hometown of Sirte on the Libyan coast.
  • Gaddafi was captured alive while hiding in a sewerage drain.
  • He was reportedly injured at the time of capture but succumbed to his wounds while being transported to the rebel stronghold city of Misrata. Some of Gaddafi’s wounds
  • were seemingly inflicted after his capture.
  • Graphic images and video of the fallen dictator have quickly flown around the world. A doctor who examined the fallen strongman in Misrata found he had been shot in the head and abdomen.
  • There are conflicting reports of the fate of Gaddafi’s sons. Officials said his son Mutasin, seen bleeding but alive in a video, had died. Another son, heir-apparent Seif al-Islam, was variously reported to be surrounded, captured or killed as conflicting accounts of the day’s events crackled around networks of NTC fighters rejoicing in Sirte.
  • His death comes two months after the fall of Libya’s capital, Tripoli.
  • World leaders have welcomed his death, with US President Barack Obama saying today is the day the Libyan people have won their freedom. British PM David Cameron urged people not to forget Gaddafi’s victims, including those who died in the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie. Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the country stood ready to assist Libya in their transition to democracy.

9.48am: The Guardian reports that a British Sky News correspondent has translated the graffiti that now adorns the drain where Muammar Gaddafi was found hiding.

The drain where Gaddafi was found hiding. Photo: Reuters

It reads: “This is the place where the rat Gaddafi was hiding” and “Contemptible Gaddafi”

9.10am: Flying against popular opinion, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called Gaddafi’s death an “outrage”. “We shall remember Gaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr,” he said.

Chavez has refused to recognise the new Libyan regime, and has ridiculed Libya’s new UN representative as a “puppet” and a “dummy”.

8.59am: Muammar Gaddafi was well known to have what has been described as an “eerie obsession” with former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

“Obviously, the first visit by a US secretary of state since 1953 would be a major milestone on the country’s path to international acceptability,” Rice wrote of her 2008 meeting with Gaddafi in her book, No Higher Honor, published online by The Daily Beast. “But Gaddafi also had a slightly eerie fascination with me personally, asking visitors why his ‘African princess’ wouldn’t visit him.”

Uneasy … Condoleezza Rice poses with Muammar Gaddafi before a meeting in Tripoli in September 2008. Photo: AFP

Rice, who served under president George W Bush, said she had been warned ahead of the meeting to ignore the Libyan leader’s “crazy” behaviour as he would eventually “get back on track”. But her suspicions were soon confirmed.

“He suddenly stopped speaking and began rolling his head back and forth. ‘Tell President Bush to stop talking about a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine!’ he barked. ‘It should be one state! Israeltine!'” Rice recalled. “Perhaps he didn’t like what I said next. In a sudden fit, he fired two translators in the room. ‘Okay.’ I thought, ‘this is Gaddafi.'”

The Libyan leader later insisted Rice join him for dinner in his private kitchen, where he presented her with a collection of photos of the US diplomat’s meetings with world leaders – set to the music of a song called Black Flower in the White House, written for Rice by a Libyan composer. “It was weird, but at least it wasn’t raunchy,” Rice said of the episode.

Rice also said Gaddafi failed to anticipate the repercussions that the Arab Spring uprising would have on his regime.

“I came away from the visit realising how much Gaddafi lives inside his own head,” Rice wrote. “I wondered if he even fully understood fully what was going on around him. And I was very, very glad that we had disarmed him of his most dangerous weapons of mass destruction. There in his bunker, making his last stand, I have no doubt he would have used them.”

8.41am: British Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed Gaddafi’s death, urging people not to forget his scores of victims, who reached as far as Scotland and the notorious Lockerbie bombing.

“I think today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi’s victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street, and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan semtex.

“We should also remember the many, many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.

“People in Libya today have an even greater chance after this news of building themselves a strong and democratic future. I am proud of the role that Britain has played in helping them to bring that about and I pay tribute to the bravery of the Libyans who helped to liberate their country. We will help them, we will work with them and that is what I want to say today. Thank you.”

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was also quick to hail Gaddafi’s death as a historic moment not just for the Libyan people, but for the wider Arab world and for people generally searching for political freedom.

“We now stand ready to assist Libya in new ways, including the building of its new democratic institutions and electoral processes.

“Those still fighting for Gaddafi must put their weapons down immediately. Those fighting for the National Transitional Council [NTC] must establish basic law and order as a matter of urgency.

“Furthermore, the NTC must establish a process for reconciliation and national unity and finally, the NTC must begin planning for early democratic elections to establish a long-term government in Tripoli.”

8.33am: Today may be a day of celebration for Libya, but big challenges await. Con Coughlin from London’s Daily Telegraph reminds us that in Iraq, the worst sectarian violence took place after Saddam Hussein’s caputure – not before.

  • “While these tribal divisions have become blurred during the Gaddafi era, the strong passions they inspire can still be detected within the NTC [National Transitional Council], where some opposition groups have objected to the dominant influence of Benghazi-based tribes over those from other parts of the country. The other challenge that the NTC must contend with is the growing influence of Islamist groups throughout Libya.”

8.24am: Gaddafi’s final moments were marked by the same brutality that came to symbolise his regime.

Television footage shows a clearly alive Gaddafi being taken from Sirte after being discovered hiding in a sewerage pipe during a final battle between loyalist and rebel fighters.

Muammar Gaddafi moments after his capture in Sirte. Photo: Reuters

However subsequent photos, which Fairfax has chosen not to publish due to their graphic content, show the dictator’s blood-soaked body collapsed on the ground.

A sense of the passion surrounding this event can be felt in the words of one rebel fighter, Mohammed Shaban, who told AFP he had taken part in Gaddafi’s capture.

  • “His blood is on my shirt. I’ll never wash it.”

8.14am: Amazing footage of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacting to news of Gaddafi’s death.

  • “Unconfirmed reports about Gaddafi being captured. Unconfirmed. Yeah, we’ve had a bunch of those before. We’ve had him ‘captured’ a couple of times.”

Famous last words?

8.05am: News of the dictator’s death has already been welcomed worldwide. Bulgarian nurses imprisoned in Libya for eight years over an HIV scandal have welcomed news, saying the deposed Libyan strongman had “got what he deserved”.

“The news made me very happy. It’s a punishment. A dog like him deserved to die like a dog,” Valya Chervenyashka said. She, along with four other Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian-born doctor, was jailed in 1999, tortured and twice sentenced to death under Gaddafi’s regime.

Five nurses and the Palestinian doctor became known as the “Benghazi six” after they were jailed in Libya in 1999 for allegedly infecting 438 children with HIV-tainted blood at a paediatric hospital in Benghazi. Experts, including Luc Montagnier, the French virologist credited with co-discovering the HIV virus, testified however that the epidemic was due to poor hygiene.

8.01am: There have been several reports that Gaddafi was brandishing a golden gun at the time of his capture. Images have just surfaced of rebel soldiers brandishing the firearm, an elaborate pistol with a wooden handle.

Rebel fighters brandish the golden gun seized from Muammar Gaddafi. Photo: AFP

7.54am: Fairfax Middle East correspondent Ruth Pollard, who has been reporting from the ground in Libya during the height of the unrest, says the death of Gaddafi will touch all Libyans.

“What we’re seeing now in Sirte is rebel forces going street by street by street to make sure that there are no pockets of Gaddafi loyalists left in that town.

“People in Libya have been waiting for this moment for so long. Until Gaddafi was captured or killed there was still a lot of fear among the locals that he could somehow stage a comeback or commit an act of terror that Would result in the deaths of many Libyans.

“And even if he didn’t do that, his ongoing presence in the country and the rebel forces’ inability to capture him could have hung over the heads of the national transitional council and made everything a lot more unstable than it really needed to be.

“So this should provide a big boost to the NTC and hopefully allow it to get on with the really complicated process of moving Libya towards becoming a democracy.”

7.35am: US president Barack Obama is one of the first world leaders to welcome the death of Gaddafi.

“Today we can definitively say that the Gaddafi regime has come to an end,” Obama said in remarks in the White House Rose Garden. Speaking to the Libyan people, Obama said, “You have won your revolution.” Libya now must travel “a long and winding road to full democracy,” he said, adding “there will be difficult days ahead.”

Obama committed the US to a NATO-led campaign in Libya in March, a move that at the time drew criticism from some members of Congress. He said today the demise of Gaddafi’s regime vindicated his strategy of bringing together allies to meet the objective of supporting the Libyan rebels without putting US troops on the ground.

It also follows other US successes overseas, he said. “This comes at a time when we see the strength of American leadership across the world,”Obama said. “We’ve taken out al-Qaeda leaders, and we’ve put them on the path to defeat. We’re winding down the war in Iraq, and have begun a transition in Afghanistan.

“And now, working in Libya with friends and allies, we’ve demonstrated what collective action can achieve in the 21st century,” he said.

7.20am: More details are already emerging of Gaddafi’s violent end, with Libya’s rebel leaders rejoicing in the fact that their former president was found cowering in a sewerage drain.

“Gaddafi was in a jeep when rebels opened fire on it,” National Transitional Council (NTC) field commander Mohammed Leith said.

“He got out and tried to flee, taking shelter in a sewage pipe.” NTC fighters “opened fire again and he came out carrying a Kalashnikov (assault rifle) in one hand and a pistol in the other,” he said.

Gaddafi “looked left and right and asked what was happening. Rebels opened fire again, wounding his leg and shoulder. He died after that,” according to Leith.

7.08am: Libyans are celebrating in the streets as news spreads of Muammar Gaddafi’s death after a firefight in his hometown of Sirte overnight.

In a symbolic final revolt against the man who ruled over the country with an iron fist, Gaddafi was overrun by rebels following a sustained assault on Sirte.

Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril confirmed news of the death this morning, saying Gaddafi’s body would be delivered, a prize of war, to Misrata, the city whose siege and suffering at the hands of Gaddafi’s forces made it a symbol of the rebel cause.

The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council Mohammed Leith this morning confirmed the ousted tyrant was finally captured in a sewage pipe waving a golden gun.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Finally, the Libyan revolution ended the way it was supposed to.

“A few quick victories, some conspicuous acts of personal bravery on the Patriot side and a colorful entry into the capital,” as Evelyn Waugh would have put it. That was the Western policy for the war—except that the war went on longer than it was meant to, and it might not be over yet, either. On Monday, the rebels reached Green Square and declared victory. On Tuesday, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the regime’s dauphin, was driving around Tripoli in an armored convoy, declaring that the rebels had been drawn into a clever trap.

But then, that’s the problem with wars and revolutions: They have a way of diverging from the policy and confounding the planners. They continue even when they are supposed to be all but over. They spill into other areas and lead to new conflicts. Even wars that end with solemn surrender ceremonies and elaborate peace treaties sometimes have unexpected afterlives. World War I begat World War II, World War II begat the Cold War, the Cold War begat the Korean War, and so on.

The Libyan revolution needn’t end in civil war. At the same time, there is no guarantee that it won’t. Either way, our ability to influence the course of events is limited. We can aid the rebels, as we have been doing all along: In fact, they’ve quietly received not only NATO air support but also French and British military training, as well as weapons and advice from elsewhere in Europe and the Gulf, most notably from Qatar. But we can’t fight their war for them, we can’t unify them by force, and we can’t write their new constitution. On the contrary, if we make ourselves too visible in Libya, either with troops on the ground or too many advisers in dark glasses, we will instantly become another enemy. If we try to create their government for them, we risk making it instantly unpopular.

What we should do instead—to use a much-mocked phrase—is bravely, proudly, and forthrightly “lead from behind.” When the NATO engagement started, I argued that Obama’s best weapon was silence—no false promises, no soaring rhetoric, no threats. Keep this their war, not ours. The result: The rebels who marched into Tripoli and waved at Al-Jazeera’s TV cameras looked like a Libyan force, not a Western one—because they were. Those pictures of them stomping on Qaddafi’s photograph looked a lot more authentic, and will play better in Libya and across the Arab world, than the pictures of Marines pulling down a statue of Saddam Hussein in 2003, his head draped with an American flag.

There was a price to pay for our silence. The absence of visible American leadership—indeed, the absence of any Western leadership—might have worked brilliantly for the Libyans, but it has been a disaster for the NATO alliance. Not by accident did the U.S. defense secretary, Robert Gates, lash out at NATO’s European members at the height of this conflict: After only a month of forays, the alliance’s weaknesses were on full display, as never before. European armies that joined the conflict ran out of arms and ammunition; most of those that stayed out didn’t have arms and ammunition to lend them. The two most prominent interventionists, the French president and the British prime minister, hardly spoke about Libya at all. There was no public support for the intervention in the West because it had so few public advocates in the West. That’s not a good sign for the future. But then, that’s our problem, not Libya’s.

Fortunately for us, leading from behind in Libya is not merely the only option, it’s certainly still the best option. This was their revolution, not ours. Now it’s poised to become their transition, not ours. We can help and advise. We can point to the experience of others—in Iraq, Chile, Poland—who have also attempted the transition from dictatorship to democracy and who can offer lessons in what to do and what to avoid. We can keep expectations low and promises minimal. After all, we have a lot to learn about the Libyan rebels, their tribal divisions, their politics, and their economics. And we have a lot of ammunition to replace back home.

GADDAFI FINISHED IN LIBYA UPRISING AGAINST THE TYRANT

Remnants of forces still loyal to Gaddafi have staged a desperate stand in Tripoli as rebels fought their way into the capital, but the whereabouts of the veteran leader was a mystery.

World leaders urged Gaddafi, 69, to surrender to prevent more bloodshed and appealed for an orderly transition of power, as the six-month-old battle for control of the oil-producing North African nation appeared to enter its final stages.

Rebels say they are now in control of most of Tripoli, a sprawling coastal city of two million people on the Mediterranean Sea, but it was not clear whether Gaddafi was still in the Libyan capital.

Rebels swept into Tripoli two days ago in tandem with an uprising within the city. Reuters reporters saw firefights and clashes with heavy weapons, including anti-aircraft guns, as rebels tried to flush out snipers and pockets of resistance.

Hundreds seem to have been killed or wounded since Saturday. But Gaddafi tanks and sharpshooters appeared to hold only small areas, mainly around Gaddafi’s heavily fortified Bab al-Aziziyah compound in central Tripoli.

Civilians, who had mobbed the streets on Sunday to cheer the end of dictatorship, stayed indoors as machinegun fire and explosions punctuated some of the heaviest fighting of the Arab Spring uprisings that have been reshaping the Middle East.

U.S. President Barack Obama, saying the conflict was not over yet, cautioned rebels against exacting revenge for Gaddafi’s brutal rule. “True justice will not come from reprisals and violence,” he said.

The president also made plain that the United States would oppose any group within the loose coalition of rebels from imposing its power over other parts of Libyan society.

“Above all we will call for an inclusive transition that leads to a democratic Libya,” Obama said.

In an audio broadcast on Sunday before state TV went off the air, Gaddafi said he would stay in Tripoli “until the end”. There has been speculation, however, he might seek refuge in his home region around Sirte, or abroad.

In a sign Gaddafi allies were still determined to fight, NATO said government forces fired three Scud-type missiles from the area of Sirte towards the rebel-held city of Misrata.

Bab al-Aziziyah, a huge complex where some believe Gaddafi might be hiding, was the focal point of fighting in Tripoli.

NATO warplanes bombed the compound in the early hours of Tuesday, al-Arabiya television reported citing rebel sources.

“I don’t imagine the Bab al-Aziziyah compound will fall easily and I imagine there will be a fierce fight,” Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel National Transitional Council, said in an interview aired by Al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera television, quoting its correspondent, said violent clashes were also reported near the oil town of Brega.

Rebels said they held three of Gaddafi’s sons, including his heir apparent Seif al-Islam. Al-Jazeera TV said that one of them, Mohammed, had escaped, adding that the body of another son, military commander Khamis, might have been found along with that of powerful intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.

FEARS OF REPRISAL, REVENGE

Western powers are concerned that tribal, ethnic and political divisions among the diverse armed groups opposed to Gaddafi could lead to the kind of blood-letting seen in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

In a move that could ease tensions, a rebel official in the eastern city of Benghazi said, however, that efforts were under way to make contact with authorities hitherto loyal to Gaddafi.

Foreign governments which had hesitated to take sides, among them Gaddafi’s Arab neighbours, Russia and China also made clear his four decades of absolute power were over.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Libyans claiming to represent Gaddafi were making “more desperate” efforts to negotiate with the United States in the last 24 to 48 hours.

Washington did not take any of them seriously because they did not indicate Gaddafi’s willingness to step down, she added.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who took an early gamble on the rebels and may now reap diplomatic benefits, called on the Gaddafi loyalists “to turn their back on the criminal and cynical blindness of their leader by immediately ceasing fire”.

Late on Monday, Sarkozy spoke to Britain’s David Cameron by telephone about the Libya situation, according to a press release from the French presidential palace.

“They both agreed to pursue efforts in supporting the legitimate Libyan authorities as long as Colonel Gaddafi refuses to surrender arms,” the statement read. Paris has offered to host a summit on Libya soon.

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