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Prime minister offers U.N. truce, seeks NATO cease-fire

TRIPOLI | Moammar Gadhafi’s prime minister on Sunday offered on a truce to the visiting U.N. special envoy to Libya, Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib, in return for an immediate NATO cease-fire, as an anti-regime civil war entered a fourth month.

Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi said after meeting Mr. Khatib that Libya is keen for “an immediate cease-fire to coincide with a stop to the NATO bombardment and the acceptance of international observers,” the JANA state news agency reported.

Libya the country, he added, is committed to the unity of its territory and people and that Libyans had the right to “decide on their internal affairs and political system through democratic dialogue away from the bombing threat.”


Kerry first top-level visitor since killing of bin Laden

ISLAMABAD | Sen. John Kerry arrived in Islamabad on Sunday for talks with Pakistani leaders at what he earlier warned was a “critical moment” for relations after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee landed two days after Pakistan’s parliament insisted there must be no repeat of the secret commando operation that killed bin Laden and that U.S. drone strikes on extremists in its territory must end.

Mr. Kerry, the first senior U.S. visitor since the death of the al Qaeda terrorist leader, is scheduled to meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to discuss “bilateral relations and regional issues.”


Police arrest first suspects of al Qaeda Africa group

TUNIS | Tunisia said Sunday it has arrested an Algerian and a Libyan in possession of explosives in the country’s first arrests of suspected members of al Qaeda’s north African offshoot.

The two men were detained in Nekrif, a town in the southern Tataouine region 80 miles from the Libyan border, officials said.

Tunisian Interior Minister Habib Essid identified the Algerian as Abou Muslum, 31, and the Libyan as 32-year-old Abou Batine.

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