Al-Qaeda video vows to make Italy pay for 'occupying Libya'

Mauritania's Al-Akhbar receives copy

14 January, 19:41

    Libyan fighters Libyan fighters

       - ROME - A video message released Thursday by one of the leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the North African branch of the terrorist organization, warns that Italy will regret its actions in Libya.

    It said that Libya had ''sold itself to foreigners'' through the recent national unity agreement in Shkirat, Morocco.

    The news was reported by the Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar, which claimed to have received a copy of the message.

    The leader, Abu Obeida Yusuf Al-Annabi, called the agreement a conspiracy and warned that ''to the new invaders, grandchildren of Graziani (a fascist-era military officer and key figure in Italy's African campaigns in the 1920s and '30s, known for his brutal repression of the local populations, Ed.), we will bite your hands and make you regret having entered the land of Omar Al-Mukhtar (hero of the Libyan resistance, Ed.).

    You will be humiliated.'' ''We are not a population that gives up. You will have to step over our dead bodies. We will win or die,'' states the video, entitled 'Roman Italy Has Occupied Libya'.

    Reference is made to an ''Italian general commanding in Tripoli now'', possibly in reference to General Paolo Serra, senior military advisor to UN Special Envoy to Libya Martin Kobler. Annabi is held to be one of AQIM's most influential leaders.

    The authenticity of the video message could not be verified independently. 

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