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Libya demands explanation from US over raid

Libya has asked for clarifications regarding the abduction of an al-Qaida leader in Tripoli.

This image from the FBI website shows Anas al-Libi. Gunmen in a three-car convoy seized Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaeda leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa.
This image from the FBI website shows Anas al-Libi. Gunmen in a three-car convoy seized Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaeda leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa.
Image: AP Photo/FBI

LIBYA HAS ASKED the United States for “clarifications” regarding the abduction in Tripoli of an al-Qaida leader linked to the 1998 US Embassy bombings in East Africa, adding that Libyan nationals should be tried in their own country.

The government’s reaction came a day after US special forces captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Anas al-Libi, in a raid. Al-Libi is on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $5 million bounty on his head.

Abduction

In a statement, the government said it “contacted the American authorities and asked it to present clarifications” regarding the al-Libi abduction. It also said it hoped the incident would not impact its strategic relationship with the United States.

On Saturday, the US Army’s Delta Force, which has responsibility for counter terrorism operations in North Africa, carried out attacks in Somalia and the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The attacks struck Islamic extremists who played a role in the bombings of the US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on 7 August 1998, that killed more than 220 people.

Terrorism

Al-Libi’s capture represents a significant blow to what remains of the core al-Qaida organisation once led by Osama bin Laden.

The Pentagon’s chief spokesman George Little said Saturday al-Libi “is currently lawfully detained by the US military in a secure location outside of Libya.” He did not disclose further details.

US Secretary of State John Kerry today defended the capture of al-Libi, saying complaints about the operation from Libya and others are unfounded. Kerry said the suspect was a “legal and appropriate target” for the U.S. military and will face justice in a court of law. Kerry added it was important not to “sympathise” with wanted terrorists.

Earlier, Kerry said the raids would send the message that terrorists “can run but they can’t hide.”

“We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in the effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror,” Kerry said, from the Indonesian capital of Bali where he is attending an economic summit.

“Members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organisations literally can run but they can’t hide,” he added.

Read: Raids show terrorists “can run but they can’t hide” — John Kerry>

Read: US stages raids targeting Islamist leaders in Africa>

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Associated Press

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