BEIRUT

Middle East

Gadhafi opponent to be buried 19 years after body found

TRIPOLI: Mansour al-Kikhia, a staunch Libyan opponent of the ousted Gadhafi regime whose body was found in a morgue 19 years after his disappearance, will be buried on Monday, his brother said.

Kikhia will be buried in his native city of Benghazi, said Mahmud al-Kikhia, after his body was found in mid-October in a villa that once served as an intelligence headquarters of slain strongman Moamer Gadhafi.

Kikhia was "abducted in Cairo in 1993 by the former regime," and his body was discovered in a morgue inside the villa in Tripoli in mid-October, he said.

Mahmud added that DNA analysis of Kikhia's body matched those of his brothers and sons, and that ex-Gadhafi intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, who is currently imprisoned by the country's new authorities, acknowledged the dissident's abduction and indicated the location of the body.

Libya's new rulers were, meanwhile, on Sunday organising a funeral ceremony to pay tribute to Kikhia, the foreign ministry in Tripoli said.

"The tyrannical regime (of Gadhafi) abducted the dissident Mansour Rashid al-Kikhia, killed him, hid his body and did not bury it, proving that it was more afraid of him dead than alive," a statement said.

Libyan authorities announced the discovery of the body last week.

Kikhia was a former foreign minister under Kadhafi and previously an ambassador posted to Paris, Algeria and the United Nations but in 1980 he joined opposition ranks against the former dictator.

During the 1990s, Gadhafi launched a campaign to kill opponents in various Arab and western countries qualifying his detractors as "stray dogs."

Mahmud al-Kikhia said there were traces of stab wounds on the chest of his brother and that a medical report will be prepared to explain the causes of death.

Mohammed al-Mufti, Kikhia's brother-in-law, who helped identify the body, said that Kikhia was imprisoned for four years before his death.

 
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