Tripoli/London: The embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday warned that the anti-government protests would lead to chaos in the country and accused Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden of "duping young people" into participating in the violent demonstrations.

"If you want to live in this chaos, it's up to you," he said, adding that he felt sorry for those who got killed in the clashes.

According to BBC, Gaddafi said that young people were being duped with drugs and alcohol to take part in "destruction and sabotage".

Gaddafi said the protesters had no genuine demands and were being dictated to by the Al Qaeda leader.

"Bin Laden... this is the enemy who is manipulating people. Do not be swayed by bin Laden," he added.
"It is obvious now that this issue is run by Al Qaeda. Those armed youngsters, our children, are incited by people who are wanted by America and the Western world.”

The protests against Gaddafi's 41-year rule began after mass demonstrations forced Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power Feb 11, and one month after demonstrators across the border in Tunisia toppled their longtime leader, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

Gaddafi said that Libya was not like Egypt and Tunisia, which have seen their leaders deposed, because the people of Libya had it in their own hands to change their lives through committees.

He urged families to rein in their sons, saying many of the protesters were underage and beyond the reach of the law.

Meanwhile, opposition politicians and tribal leaders have held a key meeting in the eastern town of Al Bayda to show a united front against Gaddafi.

 

(With Agency inputs)