TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi threatened on Friday to send hundreds of Libyans to launch attacks in Europe in revenge for the NATO-led military campaign against him.
“Hundreds of Libyans will martyr in Europe. I told you it is eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. But we will give them a chance to come to their senses,” the Libyan leader said in an audio speech carried on Libyan television.
Gaddafi, whose forces have been battling rebel fighters increasingly encroaching on his territory and NATO warplanes, was speaking in the desert town of Sabha, about 800 km (500 miles) south of Tripoli.
The speech, to a crowd of about 50,000 people, appeared designed to show that Gaddafi still enjoys support in areas of Libya he still controls.
“You will regret it, NATO, when the war moves to Europe,” he said, adding that the Canary Islands, Sicily, other Mediterranean islands as well as Andalusia in southern Spain were Arab lands that should be liberated.
“The Libyan people have no problem, the colonial powers are the ones who have a problem. They want to control our oil. They are jealous because God gave us the gift of oil,” Gaddafi said.
“We do not fear them. We have no choice but to resist, become martyrs and fight on till the end.”
Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Writing by Giles Elgood