The official Libyan news agency claimed Monday the United States is using allegations about a chemical weapons plant in Libya as a pretext to launch an attack and kill Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
The JANA news agency, monitored in Rome, referred to a report Sunday in the United Arab Emirates daily Al-Khaleej that quoted unidentified Arab sources as saying the Americans planned to send a "hit squad" to kill the Libyan leader during an attack.Al-Khaleej claimed an American task force had trained in Italy, Spain and aboard U.S. warships in the Mediterranean for the attack, which it said could come this month. The newspaper said the strike would include bombing attacks on the nuclear research center at Tajura and the alleged chemical weapons plant at Rabtah.
The newspaper report had no dateline but appeared to originate in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. JANA gave the report unusual attention, not only carrying a story but also sending it to foreign news agencies by telex and telefax.
"The uncovering of this terrorist plan reveals and exposes clearly the real motives and dimensions of the hysterical campaign" against Libya, JANA said.
It said the report proves the U.S. allegations about a chemical weapons plant "were excuses and pretexts for an operation of premeditated individual murder."
The U.S. government has contended Libya is on the verge of producing chemical weapons at the plant near Rabtah, a city about 50 miles southwest of Tripoli. Libya insists the facility is a pharmaceutical plant.
West German officials are investigating U.S. charges that a West German company played a key role in helping Libya build the plant.
President Reagan has said the United States had discussed with other NATO countries the possibility of military action against the plant.