World: TEXTBOOK COUP IN A DESERT KINGDOM

It was a textbook coup. At 3 a.m., shortly before the most faithful Moslems would answer the call to early morning prayers, columns of trucks loaded with troops rolled through Tripoli, spearheaded by British-made Centurion tanks. Swiftly, soldiers surrounded army headquarters, the security police building, the Royal Palace and the national radio station. Teleprinters in the national news agency fell silent. The borders were sealed tight, and at the airports, controllers got orders to suspend all air traffic indefinitely.

Libya had long been ripe for a coup. Flanked by socialist regimes in Algeria...

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