BBC News

Libya: Muammar Gaddafi threatens Europe

media captionThousands took to the streets in Tripoli to voice their support for Col Gaddafi

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has threatened to attack Europe in revenge for Nato's operations in Libya.

Col Gaddafi said Libya would target European "homes, offices, families" unless Nato stopped its campaign.

He spoke via an audio message broadcast to tens of thousands of supporters gathered in a central Tripoli square.

His message comes after France confirmed it had supplied weapons to anti-government rebels, delivering arms to Berber fighters near Tripoli.

Russia and the African Union have condemned the deliveries, saying they contravene a UN arms embargo on Libya.

'Like locusts'

In the broadcast, played via loudspeakers to gathered crowds in the capital's Green Square, he called on supporters to "march on the western mountains", the area where the weapons had been delivered.

Then he warned Europe that Libyans would seek revenge.

"These people [the Libyans] are able to one day take this battle [...] to Europe, to target your homes, offices, families, which would become legitimate military targets, like you have targeted our homes," he said.

"If we decide to, we are able to move to Europe like locusts, like bees. We advise you to retreat before you are dealt a disaster," he added.

His message come just days after the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Col Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanoussi for crimes against humanity.

International prosecutors allege government troops fired on civilian protesters during anti-Gaddafi street demonstrations earlier this year.

Friday's rally was one of the largest in recent times, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, in Tripoli, and the message was the first time that Col Gaddafi had been heard of in weeks.