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Stockholm • Libya's ex-justice minister Wednesday was quoted as telling a Swedish newspaper that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in 1988.
"I have proof that Gadhafi gave the order about Lockerbie," Mustafa Abdel-Jalil was quoted as saying in an interview with Expressen, a Stockholm-based tabloid.
Abdel-Jalil, who stepped down as justice minister to protest the clampdown on anti-government demonstrations, didn't describe the proof.
Expressen's online edition said its correspondent interviewed Abdel-Jalil outside the parliament in the Libyan city of Al Bayda. A longer version of the interview was to be published in Expressen's paper edition on Thursday.
Gadhafi has accepted Libya's responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground, and paid compensation to the victims' families. But he hasn't admitted personally giving the order for the attack.
More on Libya and the Mideast on Wednesday
Obama speaks out • President Barack Obama condemned the violence in Libya as "outrageous … and unacceptable" and said he was dispatching Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Geneva for international talks aimed at stopping the violence, his first public comments after days of chaos in Libya. Obama said he was studying a "full range of options" to pressure Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime to halt attacks on Libyans.
Foreigners trying to flee • Foreigners fled the chaos in Libya by the thousands, with Americans and Turks climbing aboard ships, Europeans boarding evacuation flights and North Africans racing to border crossings in overcrowded vans. Hundreds of Americans safely boarded a 600-passenger ferry at Tripoli's As-shahab port for the five-hour journey to Malta, a Mediterranean island south of Italy. Over a dozen countries including Russia, China, Germany and Ukraine sent planes in to help their citizens escape an increasingly unstable situation.
U.S., E.U. sanctions considered • The United States and the European Union vowed to consider sanctions against Libya, with the E.U. calling the government attacks possible "crimes against humanity." "The continuing brutal and bloody repression against the Libyan civilian population is revolting," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a statement Wednesday, raising the possibility of cutting off all economic and business ties between the E.U. and Libya.
Bahrain • Thousands of anti-government protesters flooded Manama's Pearl Square after the release of at least 100 political prisoners including 25 Shiite activists on trial since last year for allegedly plotting against the state. The move underlines how much the absolute rulers of the Gulf kingdom want to get reform talks with protest leaders under way. The release of the activists was one of the major demands of the emboldened political movement seeking constitutional reform.
Egypt • Egyptian authorities imposed a travel ban on former Prime Minister Atef Obeid and long-serving Culture Minister Farouq Hosni. The restrictions also cover the head of state TV and radio, as well as nine businessmen. Such measures are normally a prelude to a criminal investigation and possible trial.
Jordan • Jordan's Cabinet approved laws making it easier to organize protests and will revive a government body that works to ensure basic commodities remain affordable to the poor.
Yemen • Thousands streamed into a square Wednesday in the capital of Sanaa, trying to bolster protesters after club-wielding backers of President Ali Abdullah Saleh tried to drive them out.