News / Africa

Gadhafi's Son Denies Ordering Libyan Troops to Kill Civilians

The son of embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says that neither he nor his father ordered the killing of civilian protesters during Libya's ongoing pro-democracy rebellion against 42 years of autocratic rule.

In an interview with the Russian news channel RT posted online Friday, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi defended the actions of Libya's military, saying troops had killed people in order to defend military sites and to prevent the theft of ammunition or arms.

The younger Gadhafi also dismissed the International Criminal Court as a "joke." On Monday, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Colonel Gadhafi, his son and Libya's top intelligence chief.

The Libyan leader's son urged the Russian government to diplomatically intervene in the escalating Libyan conflict and show the world that it is a superpower.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused France of possibly violating a U.N. arms embargo on Libya last month by air-dropping weapons to rebels fighting government troops.

Lavrov said Moscow has asked Paris to explain the reasoning for the arms drop to rebels in Libya's Western Mountains region. He said that if the incident is confirmed, it is a "flagrant violation" of a U.N. Security Council resolution that imposed an arms embargo on Libya in February.

French ambassador to the United Nations Gerard Araud said Wednesday the arms drop complied with a separate Security Council resolution adopted in March, establishing a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians.  He said the French weapons were meant to defend Libyan civilians from attack by Gadhafi's forces.

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