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Girl guard dies saving Gaddafi in gun attack.

A female bodyguard sacrificed her life to save Colonel Gaddafi from assassination, it was revealed yesterday.

The beautiful security girl was one of a 40-strong, all-woman unit of personal guards who are trained killers and also claim to be virgins.

She threw herself on top of the Libyan leader when rebels opened fire on his motorcade, and died riddled with bullets.

Gaddafi, 56, was injured in the elbow but it's not known how seriously.

Seven other women bodyguards were also seriously wounded. But the rest of the squad managed to drive him to safety.

A Libyan source said: "Gaddafi was deeply distressed. Aisha, the woman who died, was his top bodyguard."

Gaddafi was on his way to Cairo for an official visit.

He had stopped near the town of Dirnah when suspected Moslem militants opened fire.

Gaddafi surrounds himself with handpicked female bodyguards to foil such attacks. All of them swear an oath that they will give their lives for him.

They never leave his side, night or day, and he insists they remain virgins while protecting him.

There is no shortage of volunteers for what is seen as a prestigious job.

A special training college puts recruits through a tough programme. Girls who don't drop out emerge as trained killers, experts with firearms and martial arts.

Gaddafi makes the final selection and, despite the "virginal" tag, rumours abound that he demands their sexual favours.

After the attack on Gaddafi, at least 100 young men aged 16 to 20 were arrested.

Western human rights groups fear they are being tortured.

The region, which is full of caves, is a stronghold of anti-Gaddafi militants.

He has been in power since 1969 and is one of the world's longest-serving revolutionary leaders.

Gaddafi has held on to power by ruthlessly crushing any sign of revolt by Libya's five million long- suffering people.

The motorcade attack is the latest in a series of assassination attempts.

In 1993, five army bases rose up against Gaddafi. More than 300 people were executed afterwards.

A grenade has also been hurled at him at a rally. It didn't go off but Gaddafi was rushed to hospital after fainting with shock.

He also survived an air-raid by American F111 bombers in 1986.
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Author:Dowdney, Mark
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 12, 1998
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