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Gadhafi blames bin Laden, drugs for Libya unrest

Refugees Flee Libya Into Tunisia
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

BENGHAZI, Libya — Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday blamed the uprising in his country on al-Qaida followers who give young Libyans hallucinogenic pills in their coffee to get them to revolt.

In a rambling phone call to Libyan state TV, Gadhafi said those revolting are “loyal to bin Laden … This is al-Qaida that the whole world is fighting.” Al-Qaida militants are “exploiting” teenagers, giving them “hallucinogenic pills in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe,” the embattled leader said.

Referring to violent clashes in Zawiya, which lies about 30 miles from the capital Tripoli, Gadhafi said the unrest in that town is a “farce. … Sane men don’t enter such a farce.” He called on citizens to “leave the country calm.”

‘I only have moral authority’
Gadhafi urged Libyans to take weapons away from protesters who have assumed control of large parts of the country.

“The constitution is very clear: take the weapons from them,” Gadhafi said. “I only have moral authority,” said the leader, who has traditionally sought to present himself as a leader of a revolution that is led by the people, rather than a traditional executive head of state.

Army units and militiamen loyal to Gadhafi have been striking back against rebellious Libyans who have risen up in cities close to the capital, attacking the Zawiya mosque where many were holding an anti-government sit-in and battling with others who had seized control of an airport. A doctor at the mosque said 10 people were killed. For more visit

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