it was the gun-toting female bodyguards in their khaki uniforms and red
berets in the 67-year old dictator's entourage, girls who wear
Kalashnikovs like Gucci fashion accessories, who stole the show.
Gaddafi is one of the maddest dictators on Earth and he doesn't like
being upstaged - unless it's by this 40-strong troupe of well-equipped,
he claims them to be a symbol of his belief in female emancipation.
'Women should be trained for combat, so that they do not become easy
prey for their enemies,' he says.
All of his girls are said to swear an oath that they will give
their lives for him and it is claimed they never leave his side, night
or day, and he insists they remain virgins. There is no shortage of
volunteers for what is seen as a prestigious job.A special training college puts recruits through a tough physical
programme and girls who don't drop out emerge as trained killers,
experts in firearms and martial arts.
Gaddafi makes the final
selection and, despite his insistence that his guards are chaste,
rumours abound that he demands their sexual favours.
The girls wear lipstick, jewellery, polished nails, even high
heels - but their armed combat training has been tested more than once.
In 1998 one of them was killed and seven others wounded when
Islamic fundamentalists in Libya ambushed the Colonel's motorcade. The
dead girl, Aisha, rumoured to be his favourite, threw herself across
Gaddafi's body to stop the bullets.
Those are some ride or die broads.