Malta has given refuge to Libya’s former oil and industry minister, Omar Fathi bin Shatwan, who fled the war-torn country on a fishing boat, the Malta Today paper said on Thursday.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, Shatwan said he spent 40 days bunkered down at his home in the central port of Misurata before escaping from Libya, and witnessed Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s forces pounding the city with heavy artillery and shooting civilians.
Malta’s Foreign Minister Tonio Borg confirmed to Malta Today that Shatwan has been on the island since last Friday.
“We immediately granted him protection and he is now a private citizen in Malta,” Borg said.
The Libyan uprising, which evolved into military clashes between opponents and supporters of the country’s longtime ruler Gaddafi, began in mid-February. The conflict has already left thousands of people dead and forced many more to flee the country.
MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti)