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Terrorism & Security

Qaddafi deserted by Libyan diplomats amid brutal crackdown

The UN harshly criticized Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's brutal response to protesters. The death toll could now be as high as 400.

By Correspondent / February 22, 2011

Libyan protesters hold a giant flag on top of a building during a demonstration in the seaport city of Tobruk on Feb. 20.

Reuters

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As reports circulated that Libyan forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi were bombing protesters from helicopters and airplanes, Libyan diplomats around the world defected and announced their support of the protesters.

Col. Qaddafi has shown little sign that he will step down from power, but the defection of the top diplomats and condemnation from world leaders indicate that the longest-ruling Arab strongman may be losing his grip on the country.

Libyan diplomats in the US, Australia, India, the United Nations, and other places have spoken out against Qaddafi in no uncertain terms and in some cases defected, reports Al Jazeera. Ali Aujali, Libya’s ambassador to the US, has called on Qaddafi – also pronounced Gaddafi – to step down, but some of the harshest comments have come from Libya’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi.

“The tyrant Muammar Gaddafi has asserted clearly, through his sons, the level of ignorance he and his children have, and how much he despises Libya and the Libyan people,” said Mr. Dabbashi in a statement endorsed by other members of Libya’s UN mission, excluding the ambassador.

The Arab League is scheduled to meet at their headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Libya, but it appears that Qaddafi will receive no support from other Arab nations.

“[T]he demands of the Arab peoples for reform, development and change are legitimate, and the Arab nations' feelings are joined together in this decisive moment in the history of the region,” said the Arab League’s Secretary General Amr Moussa, Xinhua reported.

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