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Libyan intelligence chief captured

Libyan intelligence chief captured

Libya's former intelligence chief has reportedly been arrested in Mauritania after a joint operation between French and Mauritanian authorities.

Abdullah al-Senussi, 63, nicknamed the ‘butcher’, was Colonel Gaddafi’s brother-in-law and described as one of his closest aides. He was detained at Nouakchott airport.

He fled Libya last year after Gaddafi was ousted from power and killed following months of fighting.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for his arrest last year for crimes against humanity and President Nicolas Sarkozy said he would request Senussi's extradition.

A French court convicted al-Senussi for an attack on a French plane that killed 170 people in 1989, and sentenced him to life in prison.

Ashur Shamis, spokesperson for the Libyan Prime Minister, told BBC News the circumstances of Mr al-Senussi’s capture were “normal” saying “it must have been a tip-off”.

“I think he’s the biggest scalp so far. He is a man who was with Gaddafi for many, many years.”

Mr Shamis also described the capture as “absolutely therapeutic” for Libya.

In a statement, William Hague said Mr al-Senussi had to be "held to account for his actions".

"He must now be held account for his actions ... I congratulate the Mauritanian authorities for detaining him and urge all involved to co-operate fully with the International Criminal Court (ICC)."

"The detention of the final Libya ICC indictee now offers the Libyans the opportunity to focus fully on rebuilding their country and continuing the transition to democracy," the Foreign Secretary added.

Green Box: Libyan intelligence chief capturedClick to open

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