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Remove Qadhafi: Al-Qaeda

Chinese, Indian firms asked to produce oilBrega regained, say rebels

CAIRO: Senior Al-Qaeda militant Abu Yahya al-Libi has urged rebels to fight Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi and warned of the heavy price of defeat, in a videotape posted on jihadist websites on Monday.

Meanwhile Libya's state news agency said Mr. Qadhafi had invited Chinese, Russian and Indian firms to produce its oil instead of Western companies that fled the unrest.

Most oil companies operating in Libya, including French Total and Chinese CNPC, have partially or completely shut down production since the uprising against Mr. Qadhafi began a month ago.

The television said on Sunday following recent military successes "Libyan oil terminals have become safe... All employees are asked to return to their jobs in all oil facilities. And we urge [foreign] firms to send their tankers to load and unload."

In the first public comment by a top Al-Qaeda commander on the conflict, he said: "The Libyan people have suffered at the hands of Qadhafi for more than 40 years ... He used the Libyans as a testing ground for his violent, rambling and disgusting thoughts."

Libi is himself a Libyan but his whereabouts are unknown.

"Do not surrender your weapons," Libi said.

Mr. Qadhafi has vowed to "fight to the end" to defeat the revolt and repeatedly charged that Al-Qaeda was behind the uprising which broke out last month against his 41-year iron-fisted rule.

Key towns

On Monday, forces loyal to the Libyan strongman were advancing on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, in the east of the country, after having expelled insurgents from several strategic oil ports and cities. Forces loyal to Mr. Qadhafi launched attacks on Monday on a key town rebels who are seeking to topple him have vowed to defend, as leading nations began talks on the crisis. - AFP

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