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Libya’s Crown Prince Says Protesters Will Defy ‘Brutal Forces’

Muhammad bin Sayyid Hassan as-Senussi, who would be Libya’s crown prince if the country still had a monarchy, said the people who were “killed by the brutal forces” of President Muammar Qaddafi are “heroes” and that their struggle will soon be victorious.

Qaddafi’s “fight to stay in power will not last long, because of the desire for freedom by the Libyan people,” Senussi, whose great-uncle King Idris was overthrown by Qaddafi in 1969, said in an e-mailed statement from London today. He called upon the international community “to halt all support for the dictator with immediate effect.”

Qaddafi’s crackdown on a week-long uprising, inspired by protests that overthrew the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, has left more than 200 dead as regime supporters fired on demonstrators in Tripoli, according to Human Rights Watch. Libya’s royal family, which was for a period held under house arrest by Qaddafi, emigrated to the U.K. in 1988, according to the statement.

“I send my condolences for the heroes who have laid down their lives, killed by the brutal forces of Qaddafi,” the 48-year-old Senussi said. “The Libyan people have now chosen to challenge this regime peacefully until it is gone from Libya, and the people will not return to their homes until justice is delivered.”

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