Moscow, March 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, facing protests against his 41-year regime, has announced a reward of more than $400,000 for capturing the country’s top opposition leader, a media report said.
According to a Libyan TV channel, Gaddafi offered a half million-dinar ($410,900) for the capture of former justice minister Mustafa Abdul-Jalil.
The bounty would be paid “to whoever captures and hands over” the “agent spy” Abdul-Jalil, and “200,000 Libyan dinars ($164,300) to whoever offers information leading to his actual arrest”.
Inspired by the recent overthrow of long-term regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, Gaddafi’s opponents are demanding his immediate removal.
International human rights organisations have estimated about 6,000 people have been killed since the anti-Gaddafi protests began Feb 14. The UN said the toll ranged from 1,000 to 2,000 people.
Gaddafi said Wednesday in an interview with the Turkish TRT media holding that Libya is confronting an attempt by the Al Qaeda terrorist network to destabilise the situation there and in another Arab countries.
Gaddafi also blamed the current unrest in the country on Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, who he said were seeking to turn Libya into a state resembling Afghanistan or Somalia.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution Feb 26 on “targeted measures” against the current Libyan government. The sanctions include a total arms embargo, travel bans and freezing of accounts held by the country’s leadership.
A UN resolution on the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace is to be debated by NATO defence ministers later this week. Russia has said it is against all military intervention.