Libya's Muammar Gaddafi's antics, female bodyguards, bedouin tents and flamboyant dressing [PHOTOS]

  @ibtimes on February 23 2011 9:54 AM
  • Gaddafi's virgin female bodyguards
    Daily Mail reported that his virgin-only female bodyguards take an oath to lay down their life for him and it is claimed they never leave his side day or night. The trained female guards are well versed in martial arts and are experts in the use of weapons. The girls go through a stringent physical training and the ones who do not drop out emerge capable of defending their leader. However, the final selection is done by Gaddafi himself. He terms the exercise as a model of female emancipation. Daily Mail quotes him as saying "Women should be trained for combat, so that they do not become easy prey for their enemies." Reuters
  • Gaddafi's trained female bodyguards
    It’s not all sugar and sweetness when it comes to Gaddafi’s female bodyguards who flaunt polished nails, make-up and high-heels. The seriousness with which the job is taken was revealed in a report by BBC in 2006 when Col Gaddafi visited Nigeria for a summit. A diplomatic row occurred in an airport at Nigerian capital Abuja, where security officials refused to allow Gaddafi’s 200 odd heavily armed Libyan bodyguards to keep their arms. The incident resulted in an argument and Col. Gaddafi stormed off. It was not the size of the contingent but the volume of weapons and ammunition that the bodyguards carried that raised the issue. The bodyguards agreed to hand over the weapons only when Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo intervened. Reuters
  • Outrageous demand
    DailyMail reported that Col. Gaddafi on his visit to Italy in 2009, invited over 500 attractive Italian girls for an evening at his villa. The agency Hostessweb was asked to recruit 500 girls, 5ft 7in aged between 18 and 35. However, the event was used by Gaddafi to propagate Islam as he urged the women to convert to Islam and handed them a copy of his Green Book Reuters
  • Gaddafi's Bedouin tent
    Gaddafi is known to carry his Bedouin tent along with him on diplomatic missions. In 2009, he pitched his tent in the Villa Doria Pamphili in Rome, where he received his guests. DailyMail had reported that when Gaddafi traveled to France in 2007, his entourage included 400 people who were carried by five planes. It was also reported that he was bringing a Saharan camel in order to provide visitors a traditional ambience. Reuters
  • Muammar Gaddafi's Everything
    Muammar Gaddafi's Everything Reuters
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Confusion regarding Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's name whether it is spelled Qadaffi, Gathafi or Kaddafi remains. Is he a despot, tyrant or an astute politician - these titles are subject to interpretation. But is he an eccentric leader - his army of female virgin bodyguards offer a clue.

The man who has ruled Libya with an iron fist is known to move around with a batch of female bodyguards. The primary qualification for aspiring candidates, apart from being a female, is that one ought to be a virgin.

His penchant for virgin bodyguards is not the only claim to eccentricity but Gaddafi is also known to carry a giant Bedouin tent during his diplomatic visits, from where he conducts business.

Gaddafi also gains much spotlight for his flamboyant dressing which reveals his love for flowing robes and aviator glasses. The list of eccentricities also includes a report by Daily Mail which stated that the Libyan leader brought a Saharan camel as part of his 400-strong entourage when he visited France in 2007. It took five planes to carry the entourage.

Al Jazeera reported that Gaddafi stands defiant in the midst of raging protests demanding his resignation. He also said that until now he has not yet ordered the use of force and added a warning stating when I do, everything will burn. Also the Time columnist Robert Baer had a source close to the Libyan regime telling him that Gaddafi has ordered the destruction of oil pipelines, cutting off flow to Mediterranean ports.

While the aforesaid reports reveal Gaddafi's political side, here is a collage depicting his eccentric obsessions:

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