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URGENT Libyan Radio Calls For Arab Attacks On U.S. Embassies

March 26, 1986

Undated (AP) _ Libya’s official radio today called for Arab suicide squads to attack U.S. embassies and other interests worldwide following armed clashes between U.S. and Libyan forces in the Gulf of Sidra.

The radio exhorted the ″Arab nation″ to be transformed ″in its entirety into suicide squads and into human bombs, missiles and aircraft to deter and resist terrorism and destroy it for good.″ The radio commentary was monitored by the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.

The Libyan radio commentary said, ″Oh heroes of our Arab nation, let your missiles and suicide cells pursue American terrorist embassies and interests wherever they may be.″

Earlier today, a radical Palestinian faction, Abu Nidal’s Fatah Revolutionary Council, similiary threatened retaliation for what it called the ″abominable American aggression.″

The council said in a statement issued in Damascus, Syria, that ″anything American has become from now on a target for our revolutionaries.″

U.S. officials say American forces Tuesday destroyed two patrol boats and damaged a Libyan missile radar site in the second day of confrontation over Libyan leader Col. Moammar Khadafy’s claim to the entire Gulf of Sidra up to 40 miles offshore.

The United States says territorial waters end 12 miles offshore, the generally recognized international limit.

U.S. officials say the clash began Monday with Libya firing six missiles at American warplanes on maneuvers in the gulf. The United States retaliated against patrol boats and a missile site on shore, U.S. officials said.

There were no reports of fighting today. Associated Press photographer Giulio Broglio said Tripoli was quiet, with no signs of military activity.

″Nothing is going on that you can see. People are going to school and to work,″ he reported.

The Reagan administration charged that Abu Nidal’s faction, backed by Khadafy, carried out terrorist attacks at Rome and Vienna airports last Dec. 27 in which 20 people died, including five Americans.

Reagan banned U.S. economic links to Libya and ordered Americans to leave the country. Americans have served as consultants in Libya’s petroleum and construction industries.

A State Department spokesman, Michael Austrian, estimated that perhaps ″a couple hundred″ Americans remain in Libya despite the ban.

An Italian diplomat in Tripoli, Marco Tornetta, reached by telephone from Rome, said Tuesday no threats had been made against the remaining Americans or other foreigners in Libya.

West European diplomats in Tripoli said Tuesday that several thousand Libyans demonstrated outside the Belgian Embassy, which has handled U.S. interests in Libya since Washington broke diplomatic relations with the North African country six years ago.

NBC News on Tuesday night showed Khadafy telling its correspondent, Bonnie Anderson, ″It is a time of war, a time of confrontation. And we have decided the Gulf of Sirte (Sidra) is ours. We have decided this by sacrifice, by blood.″

Asked about the Americans still in Libya, Khadafy said, ″They are our guests. We are a civilized people.″

Foreign ambassadors summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Tripoli were told that Libya would confront the U.S. actions ″with all its means,″ said the official Libyan news agency, JANA, in a dispatch monitored in Rome.

″We in Libya will consider any American target and the American and Mediterranean bases hostile targets which we will confront,″ the agency quoted the ministry as saying. The threat clearly was aimed at U.S. military bases in Sicily and elsewhere in southern Italy.

The Egyptian government called for restraint and an end to ″acts of violence″ in the area. Its statement did not mention Libya or the United States by name or blame either nation.

Other Arab factions and nations, including Syria, pledged their support to Libya, as did Iran. Israel and America’s European allies generally backed the United States.

In Moscow, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev told a banquet for Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid, ″The actions of the United States constitute a challenge to the world public as a whole and an encroachment on commonly recognized civilized relations.″

He said the Soviet Union supported Libyans in ″standing up for their sacred right to freedom and independence from imperialist encroachments.″

Communist-ruled China also charged the United States had violated ″the norms governing international relations.″

Earlier, Libyan state radio said Saudi Arabian King Fahd had told Khadafy all of his country’s resources ″were at the disposal of the Libyan people.″

Saudi Arabia’s official news agency confirmed that the king and Khadafy spoke by telephone, but did not say who initiated the call or elaborate on their conversation.

Malta, a Mediterranean island nation friendly with Libya, requested a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to consider the ″grave situation.″

In Tunisia, the 21-member Arab League’s Council of Foreign Ministers and the Palestine Liberation Organization adopted a resolution asking Arab states to provide Libya with ″assistance to enable it to repulse this aggression.″ The resolution did not detail what assistance might be involved.

The Palestine National Salvation Front, an alliance of six Syrian-backed Palestinian groups, vowed Tuesday its guerrillas would make the United States ″pay heavily for this aggression″ by ″attacking every single American target or interest in the Middle East.″

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