Libyan rebels sell weapons to al Qaeda: Report

A report says al Qaeda has already received heavy weaponry from the rebels.

Last Updated: Apr 03, 2011, 13:05 PM IST

Cairo: Rebels who plundered Libyan Army depots have sold weapons to al Qaeda militants in the North African country, an Algerian daily said on Saturday.

The militant group has already received heavy weaponry and air defence missiles from the Libyan rebels, the L`Expression newspaper said quoting a source from the Algerian security forces.

It added that if Western nations decide to equip the Libyans, these weapons could also come to the hands of al Qaeda terrorists.

"Al Qaeda continues to recruit fighters on Libyan territory and is preparing a war against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi," the paper said.

The Libyan political crisis, which evolved into military clashes between opponents and supporters of the country`s longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi, began in mid-February. The conflict has already left thousands of people dead and forced many more to flee the country.

The UN Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted on March 17, imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized measures to protect civilians from Gaddafi`s forces, but stopped short of authorising ground operations in the North African country.