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Published: Sunday, 7/3/2011

Clinton dismisses Gadhafi's threats


MADRID -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Saturday stepped up calls on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to quit, brushing off his threat to attack Europeans in their homes and offices.

"Instead of issuing threats, Gadhafi should put the well-being and the interests of his own people first and he should step down from power and help facilitate a democratic transition," Mrs. Clinton said during a trip to Spain on the last leg of a three-nation European tour.

Gadhafi on Friday had urged NATO to halt its bombing campaign or risk seeing Libyan fighters descend on Europe "like a swarm of locusts or bees."

NATO has stepped up strikes on Gadhafi forces in western Libya, including the capital Tripoli, saying it had carried out more than 50 attacks since Monday.

Libyan rebels who had advanced to within 50 miles of the capital were stopped Friday, underlining the dogged resistance of Gadhafi troops to a five-month revolt.

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