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Gaddafi visits Tripoli school in show of defiance

UK repeats call for Gaddafi’s immediate departure

Published:

State-run Libyan television showed Muammar Gaddafi at a school in Tripoli on a visit it said took place on Saturday, his first televised public appearance in five days.

Gaddafi, wearing his brown burnous and sunglasses, could be seen entering the school surrounded by bodyguards. The TV news anchor said the visit took place on Saturday morning. Pupils could be heard shouting anti-Western slogans.

Gaddafi, one of the world's longest serving leaders who is fighting a rebellion in the country's east and pockets of the west, clenched his fist in the air as students chanted: "Only Allah, Muammar and Libya."

Gaddafi was accompanied by bodyguards who drove him away in a white car. Gaddafi was last seen in public in televised pictures on April 4.

British junior foreign minister Alistair Burt reiterated UK’s call for Gaddafi to leave power saying, "the UK believes that Gaddafi should go, and should go now. Libya has no future with him at the helm," the diplomat said.

"He has unleashed hell onto his people. He has murdered civilians. He stands accused of dreadful crimes. Now those crimes are a matter for the International Criminal Court."

The prosecutor of the ICC, based in The Hague, has said he would request arrest warrants for crimes against humanity committed in Libya, with investigations ongoing against Kadhafi, three of his sons and other key aides.

Burt called for "full and frank" discussion, saying different countries had different views on these issues. Algiers, for example, has expressed itself against any foreign intervention in the region.

On his second visit to Algeria, Burt and his counterpart Abdelkader Messahel will preside over the fifth session of an Algerian-British dialogue.

"In recent years, we have seen this relationship strengthen across the board," Burt said of bilateral ties, specifying that talks will focus on cooperation in the fields of energy, commerce and counter-terrorism, as well as events in Libya and Western Sahara.