Kadhafi denies fleeing Libya in TV appearance

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Tripoli, Feb 22 (AFP) Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafidenied he had fled the country in a brief televisionappearance.

"I am going to meet with the youth in Green Square,"in downtown Tripoli, he said yesterday in what statetelevision reported was a live broadcast from the strongman''shome.

"It''s just to prove that I am in Tripoli and not inVenezuela and to deny television reports, those dogs," hesaid, holding up an umbrella in pouring rain while about tostep into a car.

Rain lashed Tripoli yesterday evening.

A suggestion in Brussels earlier yesterday by BritishForeign Secretary William Hague that Kadhafi may have left thecountry for Venezuela was swiftly denied by Caracas, home tothe Kadhafi''s firebrand ally President Hugo Chavez.

Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro spoke to his Libyancounterpart Mussa Kussa, who told him Kadhafi was "in Tripoli,exercising his powers of state and confronting the situationin the country," the foreign ministry in Caracas said in astatement. (AFP)

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