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Obama briefly leaves dinner upon news of Libya airstrike

April 30, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli | Washington Bureau
(Jason Reed / Reuters )

President Obama briefly left the dais at the White House Correspondents Dinner as the news broke from Libya that Moammar Kadafi’s son had been killed in a NATO airstrike that targeted a house where the Libyan leader had been visiting.

Obama, along with First Lady Michelle Obama, had arrived at the dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel about 8:30 p.m. Shortly thereafter, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates left the room, followed soon by the president.

The president later returned and took his seat.

According to news reports, the NATO airstrike came as Kadafi and his wife were visiting the house of his son, Seif al Arab Kadafi, in Tripoli. Libyan officials said the strike killed the younger Kadafi, who was 29, along with three of Moammar  Kadafi’s grandchildren.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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