Thursday, July 08, 2004

Libya/Algeria/Chad: Libya threatens to bomb Chad rebels

Chad rebels holding the Sahara's most-wanted terror suspect said on Thursday that Libya had given them a 48-hour deadline to surrender him - or the Libyans would bomb them.

There was no immediate comment from Libya, which had confirmed earlier this week that its forces had killed two of terror suspect Amari Saifi's accomplices.

Saifi, the only known surviving leader of Algeria's al-Qaeda allied Salafist Group for Call and Combat, has been claimed in the hands of Chad rebels since they came across him and several followers in the Sahara earlier this year.

Months of negotiations have failed to obtain his surrender to Algeria, other African nations or the West.

On Thursday, Chad rebels in the remote northern mountains of Chad received a satellite phone call from two Libyan officials giving them a 48-hour deadline to surrender Saifi, Brahim Tchouma, a spokesperson in exile said.

"At the end of 48 hours, they're going to bomb us in a way we've never been bombed," Tchouma quoted the two Libyans as telling the rebels.

[...] Tchouma said Libya had recently entered into negotiations for Saifi's surrender, at what the rebel's said was Germany's request. (source)