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Libyan Who led the Valletta demonstration killed in Brega

 - Saturday, 23 April 2011, 00:00 , by Scott Grech

A Libyan man who led the 26 February demonstration in Valletta against the Gaddafi regime, together with around 150 other people from the Libyan community in Malta, was killed in the oil-rich town of Brega less than a week later.

Khaled Attghi, a businessman in his 40s, is seen in photos holding a placard prior to the start of the demonstration march against the Libyan leader, Col Gaddafi, in Freedom Square, Valletta, which took place just a few days after the start of the Libyan uprising.

The demonstration, which later ended in St George’s Square, was also attended by a few MPs and well-known TV presenters and media personnel, who turned up to show their solidarity with the Libyan people, as the fight to oust Col Gaddafi from power continues.

Mr Attghi, a father of seven, whose youngest child is 18 months old, was also a British national, having spent some years living in the Whalley Range area of Manchester in the UK. Manchester is home to the largest community of Libyan exiles in Britain.

He is believed to have travelled to Libya shortly after the start of the crisis to try to rescue his 20-year-old daughter and bring her to safety.

Friends of his family told foreign news portals that Mr Attghi got his daughter, Fatima, out of Tripoli, but was later denied entry across the Tunisian border.

He is understood to have then flown to Egypt and crossed the border towards the rebel capital of Benghazi. He then travelled west, towards Brega, and was in the city when violence escalated between pro and anti-Gaddafi forces.

Nadia Handi, 40, a close friend of the family, told the British media that Mr Attghi’s wife, Monya, had become frantic after being unable to contact him. Then a friend called from Libya to say he had been killed.

Ms Handi said: “He was going to Libya to bring back their daughter and now he is dead. His wife is devastated, she can’t talk at all. She can’t concentrate, or eat or drink. The children are all crying, I can’t explain how horrible it is.”

Another friend, Hakim Mezujhi, told the BBC: “He was loyal to his family, loyal to his friends over here. He helped lots of friends and brothers set up their businesses, and he was the kind of person you don’t want to lose.”

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