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PM bolsters ties with Libyan rebels

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David Cameron has invited Libyan rebel leaders to establish a formal office in London

David Cameron has invited Libyan rebel leaders to establish a formal office in London

David Cameron has invited Libyan rebel leaders to establish a formal office in London

David Cameron has invited Libyan rebel leaders to establish a formal office in London.

The Prime Minister made the offer after holding Downing Street talks with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the Interim National Transitional Council, as fighting in the troubled country continued.

Mr Cameron said the UK presence in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi would also be boosted.

He said: "These steps continue our very clear intention to work with the council to ensure Libya has a safe and stable future, free from the tyranny of the Gaddafi regime."

The talks were held hours after the Libyan government sought to quell rumours that Muammar Gaddafi had been killed or wounded in a coalition attack.

The dictator has not been seen in public since his youngest son died in an air strike 10 days ago.

Footage broadcast on state television showed the dictator clad in black and wearing sunglasses, speaking to officials in a meeting room. However, he was not heard speaking. The footage showed Wednesday's date on a television screen close to Gaddafi.

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Meanwhile, a series of Nato strikes targeted Tripoli early on Thursday. Four explosions in quick succession were heard, preceded by the sound of loud whooshing - normally associated with cruise missiles.

After the strikes, the sound of speeding ambulances was heard by reporters staying in a Tripoli hotel. The latest attacks came after the opposition claimed to have captured the airport at the key western city of Misrata, driving back troops loyal to Gaddafi.

Witnesses said hundreds of people celebrated in streets that were littered with burning government tanks.


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