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Libya's Geneva Diplomats Defect


Demonstrators hold up posters depicting Libya's Moammar Gadhafi during a protest in Brussels, February 25, 2011

Demonstrators hold up posters depicting Libya's Moammar Gadhafi during a protest in Brussels, February 25, 2011

Libyan diplomats at the United Nations in Geneva announced Friday that they were defecting to the opposition, dealing another blow to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

A diplomat in the Libyan delegation to the U.N. said the entire mission was quitting the government and had decided to serve as representatives of the Libyan people and their free will. The envoy made the announcement during a special meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Mr. Gadhafi has also lost several key government officials and military officers during the bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters. The interior minister and justice minister have each defected, and one of Mr. Gadhafi's close advisers also stepped down to protest the crackdown.

There have been reports of military defections including at least two pilots fleeing to Malta in Libyan military aircraft.

Despite the mounting pressure, Mr. Gadhafi's son told CNN Turk television his family has no intentions of leaving Libya. He said their "plans A, B and C" are to live and die in the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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