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Libyans celebrate Gaddafi's death
Photo: Reuters
Muammar Gaddafi
Photo: Reuters
'Chemical weapons in Libya under guard'
NTC finds chemical weapons, secures them following death of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. 'They are from Gaddafi's era and are under guard, until they can be handed over," says NTC official

Chemical weapons have been found in Libya by National Transitional Council forces and have been secured, a representative of the movement that ousted the late Muammar Gaddafi said on Wednesday.

 

"They are from the Gaddafi era and are under guard, until they can be handed over," an NTC representative said at a meeting between the council and NATO representatives in Qatar.

 

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With the fall of Gaddafi's regime, western intelligence officials have been trying to follow the trail of Libya's chemical weapons arsenal, and especially its mustard gas caches.

 

In an interview with CNN back in August, United States Envoy to the UN Susan Rice said that the US was takign steps to prevent the weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

 

A that time, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC that their were many dangers in store for the Libyan people in the days ahead, adding that regime loyalists "have a great deal of weapons... thousands of fighters are still receiving salaries from Gaddafi."

 

Libyans welcome news of Gaddafi's death (Photo: EPA) (Photo: EPA)
Libyans welcome news of Gaddafi's death (Photo: EPA)
 

Most of Libya's chemical weapons are held at a facility located in Rabta, south of Tripoli. Western analysts believe that the country's WMD (weapons of mass destruction) arsenal alone contains some 10 tons of various chemical agents which can inflict grave damage. It is also believed that Gaddafi was in possession of Scud-B missiles, over 1,000 tons of uranium powder and mass quantities of conventional weapons.

 

The Americans and their NATO partners have been observing Libya via satellite, drones and other aircraft used to gather intelligence. Back in August, the US and other countries also had intelligence personnel placed on the ground in Libya, tasked with aiding Libyan opposition factions in securing the chemical weapons' sites.

 

Libya had previously signed a historic agreement with the George W. Bush administration, under which it must take action to destroy its WMDs in exchange for normalizing ties with the US.

 

Gaddafi sent the US the blueprints of the infrastructure for his nuclear plan and destroyed all long range missiles. He also destroyed 3,300 aircraft designed to disperse the chemical weapons/

 

In 2004 Tripoli joined the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) yet US sources claim that Libyan plans to halt production of chemical weapons and destroy chemical weapons arsenals were held up due to disputes between Libya and the US over funding and logistics.

 

Yitzhak Benhorin contributed to the report

 

 

 

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