Qaddafi’s cousin calls Sarkozy charges ‘God’s punishment’

Ahmed Gaddaf Al-Dam, cousin of Libya’s former president Muammar Qaddafi, speaks to The Associated Press, while the news on his television shows Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the background, at his apartment in Cairo, Egypt, Mar 22, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 March 2018
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Qaddafi’s cousin calls Sarkozy charges ‘God’s punishment’

CAIRO: Muammar Qaddafi’s cousin says the corruption allegations against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy are “God’s punishment” for his role in the NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed the longtime Libyan leader.
Ahmed Gaddaf Al-Dam, a close aide to Qaddafi based in Cairo, told The Associated Press that he was aware of the millions of euros Qaddafi’s government allegedly gave to Sarkozy.
Investigators are examining allegations that Qaddafi’s regime secretly gave Sarkozy 50 million euros ($62 million) for his 2007 presidential campaign. Sarkozy has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
As president, Sarkozy put France in the forefront of the NATO-led air campaign in support of Libyan rebels in 2011. Gaddaf Al-Dam says most of the Libyans involved in the money transfers are imprisoned, dead or fearing assassination.


New Palestinian deaths bring toll from Israel clashes to 40

Updated 50 min 45 sec ago
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New Palestinian deaths bring toll from Israel clashes to 40

GAZA CITY: Two Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israel were pronounced dead Monday, a Gaza official said, bringing the toll from Israeli fire since March 30 to 40.
A spokesman for the Hamas-controlled territory’s health ministry named the latest fatalities as Tahrir Wahba, 18, and Abdullah Shamali, 20.
Wahba, who was deaf, was shot in the head in a clash east of Khan Yunis on April 6, and Shamali died of “bullet wounds to his belly” sustained on Friday, said spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra.
Most of the 40 Palestinians killed by Israel since the start of “March of Return” protests on March 30 were shot by snipers on the border, while a few others were killed by Israeli artillery or air strikes.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave, wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean, have gathered at the border on consecutive Fridays to call for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to their former homes now inside Israel.
Some protesters have launched stones or burning tires at Israeli soldiers.
Israeli forces have responded with live ammunition, wounding hundreds in addition to those killed.
The Israeli army says its troops only opened fire in self-defense or to stop protesters attempting to breach the barrier separating the territory from Israel.
More than 440 demonstrators suffered bullet wounds or gas inhalation on Friday, rescuers said.
Israel has drawn harsh criticism from rights groups along with calls for investigations by the United Nations or the European Union.
Israel has for more than a decade imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, fighting three wars with Hamas since 2008.
Also on Monday, Hamas’s military wing said one of its men died in an explosion.
It said in a statement that Mohammed Al-Maqadma, 55, was killed by an “explosive projectile” fired by an unnamed group which it described as hostile to Hamas.
It did not elaborate further.
The Gaza health ministry said a child was wounded in the same blast, in the northern part of the strip.