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LONDON - Senior NATO officials claimed that Libyan leader's regime has spent $3.5 million hiring hundreds of
Report Libyan leader is recruiting mercenaries from Polisario Front to fight rebellion.
mercenaries, mostly from the Polisario Front to help defeat anti-government rebels, The Daily Telegraph reported
Details of a deal to recruit 450 mercenaries from the disputed Western Sahara region have been passed to NATO officials by a former Gathafi loyalist who was involved in the negotiations before defecting to the rebels.
“The mercenaries are being paid $10,000 each to fight for Gathafi regime for two months,” claimed the defector on condition of anonymity, adding that the deal with the mercenaries was made last month after repeated anti-regime protests called for Gathafi’s ouster.
Most of the mercenaries are reported to be members of the Polisario Front, which has been fighting which is fighting for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco, the report claims.
Gathafi's officials have also hired scores of fighters from rebel movements in Niger and Mali that have close ties with his regime.
Rebels in Libya said last week they had captured 15 Algerian mercenaries and killed another three during fierce fighting in the eastern town of Ajdabiya the previous day.
The rebels have long accused strongman Moamer Gathafi of deploying hired guns from Chad and Niger against them, and the latest allegations came a day before a meeting between the rebel leadership and an African Union delegation.
Rebel spokesman Shamsiddin Abdulmolah said the group of 18 mercenaries were led into the frontline town by a local resident allied with Gathafi's regime, who was also captured, adding that all the detainees were being treated well.
He accused Algeria of backing Gathafi and of "turning a blind eye" to the mercenaries flowing into Libya.
Recent defectors’ documents showed that Gathafi regime was still looking to recruit more mercenaries to fight the rebels.
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