US defends capture of al-Liby as 'legal and appropriate'

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US defends capture of al-Liby as 'legal and appropriate'

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The United States has defended the capture of alleged al-Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli – after the Libyan government demanded an explanation for the raid on its territory.

Washington suspects that al-Liby masterminded the 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which more than 220 people were killed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry described al-Liby as “a key al-Qaeda figure”.

Kerry continued: “He is a legal and an appropriate target for the US military under the authorisation of the use of the military force passed in September of 2001.”

In a separate operation at the weekend, US commandos carried out a raid in southern Somalia, but failed to capture their target – believed to be a leader of the Al Shabaab militant group.

Al Shabaab claimed responsibilty for the attack on the Westgate shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi last month. At least 67 people were killed.