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Relatives: Palestinian student killed in Libya

Feb. 25, 2011 10:22 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 27, 2011 9:54 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Foreign mercenaries killed a young Palestinian man in Libya, his relatives in Libya and Tripoli said Friday.

Hassan Hatem Abu Mustafa, 20, from Khan Younis, was a second-year engineering student at Libya's Misurata University.

Abu Mustafa was in front of his house east of Tripoli when a group of gunmen opened fire, his sister said in a phone interview.

"A large group of African mercenaries shot Hassan in cold blood," she said, reached at home east of Tripoli.

Abu Mustafa was searching for his uncle Omar, who has been missing for four days.

His sister, who did not give her name, said incitement against Palestinians was on the rise in Libya.

The Palestinian Authority is trying to coordinate the return of much of the Palestinian community in Libya, and Israel offered to allow 300 into the occupied territories as a "humanitarian gesture."

The number of Palestinians living in Libya is estimated at between 25,000 and 40,000; most have been living there for decades, according to the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa.

Hundreds of people have been killed in a brutal crackdown and tens of thousands of foreigners are scrambling to leave the country that has slipped into chaos since a popular uprising began on Feb. 15.

In Tripoli, an embattled Muammar Gaddafi said he would throw open the country's arsenals to his supporters in a rabble rousing speech that presaged a bloody battle for the Libyan capital.

In a brief but chilling address in Tripoli's Green Square, Gaddafi told hundreds of cheering supporters from the top of a building to prepare themselves for a fight.

If necessary, he said, weapons stores would be opened to arm them for combat.

Gaddafi loyalists had earlier killed several people in shooting that spread through the capital and French President Nicolas Sarkozy became the first world leader to openly demand the Libyan leader's ouster.

Gaddafi called on his partisans to "defend Libya". "If need be, we will open all the arsenals."

"We will fight them and we will beat them," he said as frenzied supporters raised portraits of the leader and waved the country's green flag.

AFP contributed to this report.
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