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Gadhafi's son says his family will stay in Libya

By Suzan Fraser

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 25 2011 10:40 a.m. MST

ANKARA, Turkey — Moammar Gadhafi's son has vowed his family will "live and die in Libya," and will not allow "a bunch of terrorists" to take control of the country.

In an interview aired Friday on Turkish TV, he was asked if his family has a "plan B" in the face of the growing unrest in Libya and plans to leave the country.

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi replied as he tapped his index finger into the palm of his hand: "We have Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Plan A is to live and die in Libya, Plan B is to live and die in Libya, Plan C is to live and die in Libya," he said, pointing to a map of Libya.

The interview was conducted late Thursday by CNNTurk's news anchor Cuneyt Ozdemir, who says he flew in and out to meet with Gadhafi's son. Ozdemir said a Turkish businessman, who has large building contracts in Libya, provided his private jet for the trip.

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi said the situation in Libya was different to that of Egypt and Tunisia, where he said demonstrations were "peaceful." In Libya's case, the unrest was manipulated by "terrorist groups," he said.

"We discovered in like one day that there was many organized terrorist groups, they took advantage of the situation," he said.

He denied sniper or air attacks on protesters in Libya, insisting that areas hit by Libyan war planes were ammunition depots in remote parts of the country, to prevent them from falling in the hands of insurgents.

"We are not fighting against our own people, we are fighting against these (terrorist) groups," he said. "We cannot allow a bunch of terrorists to control parts of Libya."

He also denied reports that claimed his father could set Libyan oil refineries on fire.

"We don't destroy oil. The oil if for the Libyan people," he said. "We will never allow our people to walk alone in this dark time."

Gadhafi put the death toll since the start of the unrest at 242 — saying the number included both civilian and military deaths. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said estimates of some 1,000 people killed were "credible."

Gadhafi said much of Libya was calm and "under our control" apart from the cities of Zawiya and Misrata that were controlled by "terrorist" groups. He said groups had also declared "independent Islamic emirates" in the cities of Beyda and Derne, and called these "Mickey Mouse states."

Misrata, Libya's third-largest city about 120 miles (200 kilometers) from Tripoli, the capital, is where pro-Gadhafi militiamen — a mix of Libyans and foreign mercenaries — have clashed with government opponents.

Zawiya, some 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, witnessed the worst bloodshed on Thursday. An army unit loyal to Gadhafi opened fire with automatic weapons on a mosque where residents — some armed with hunting rifles for protection — have been holding a sit-in to support protesters in the capital, according to a witness.

Gadhafi repeatedly urged the interviewer to go out and see for himself how "calm" much of the country was.

The interview was also posted on Ozdemir's website, www.dipnot.tv.

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