Kadhafi soldiers in far-west find no 'enemy'

Kadhafi soldiers in far-west find no 'enemy'

He had been told by the military he would be battling Algerian mercenaries and Al-Qaeda Islamist militants threatening Libya and dispatched to Kabaw "to protect civilians."

But today he said he was tricked by the regime of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi: the "enemy" are in fact Libyans like him.

Amor and another loyalist soldier were wounded on Monday in pitched battles with rebels fighting the Libyan leader's 41-year rule.

"I am staggered by the welcome of the Kabaw people. I am embarrassed," said Amor who gave a fake name for reasons of security.

He lies in bed nursing a knee wound at the Kabaw hospital, a town of 15,000 in western Libya some 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of Tunisia.

Armed men stand guard outside his room to protect him. Rebels say they killed 45 Kadhafi soldiers during heaving fighting on Monday in the Thlath district outside Kabaw and captured 17 loyalists. Amor and another soldier were wounded.

According to the rebels, two insurgents were killed in the fighting and three others hurt.
Amor has travelled along way to come to Kabaw to fight those the regime identified as mercenaries and Islamist gunmen.

He hails from Tahruna, a town held by loyalists half-way between Tripoli and rebel stronghold Benghazi in the east.

"I think both camps (rebels and loyalists) are wrong," he says after checking that no one is within hearing distance.

"Kadhafi was wrong to use violence to crush the protests and the rebels are wrong to use violence to retaliate," he said.

"I came to Kabaw for the sake of peace. Our mission was to protect civilians. The rebels fired first," he said.