Tripoli, April 12
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Ashour Ben Khayal has sent a telegram of condolence to his opposite Algerian number, . . .[restrict]Mourad Medelci, following the the death of Ahmed Ben Bella, the leader of Algeria’s fight for independence and its first president until he was overthrown in a coup in 1965. He was 93.
Bin Khayal said that he had learned “with deep sorrow the news of the death of the freedom fighter Ahmed Ben Bella”. He said that that the late hero was steadfast in fighting against French colonialism and for the freedom of the Algerian people and in doing so had gained his country’s independence.
During Algeria’s war of independence, Ben Bella lived part of the time in Tripoli, in Sidi Mesri, running his freedom movement from an old Italian villa there. On one occasion he was slightly wounded when a French assassin tried to kill him at the Atlantic Hotel in Tripoli’s old town.
The assassin was later killed by Libyan guards when he tried to flee across the border.