Gaddafi vows to attack Europe, Clinton says leave

Sat Jul 2, 2011 2:28pm GMT

By Lutfi Abu-Aun and Arshad Mohammed

TRIPOLI/MADRID (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed to attack "homes, offices and families" in Europe in revenge for NATO airstrikes but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said he should quit instead of issuing threats.

In a telephone address relayed to some 100,000 supporters in Tripoli's Green Square on Friday evening, Gaddafi urged NATO to halt its bombing campaign or risk seeing Libyan fighters descend on Europe "like a swarm of locusts or bees".

Gaddafi forces continued to shell the rebel-held coastal town of Misrata on Saturday, a NATO official said. Libyan TV reported that NATO bombs had caused casualties in the central region of al-Jufrah, but have no further details.

Gaddafi, who along with his son and spy chief faces an international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity, has vowed to fight to the end and branded the NATO operation a colonial aggression aimed at securing Libya's oil riches.

"Retreat, you have no chance of beating this brave people," Gaddafi said in his address broadcast on Friday.

"They can attack your homes, your offices and your families, which will become military targets just as you have transformed our offices, headquarters, houses and children into what you regards as legitimate military targets," he said.

"If we choose, we can descend on Europe like a swarm of locusts or bees. We therefore advise you to retreat before you face catastrophe."

Clinton on Saturday brushed off Gaddafi's remarks and stepped up calls on him to quit.   Continued...

<p>Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi attends the closing session of the Arab League summit in Sirte October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny</p>
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