| 13.7°C Dublin

Dubliner leads rebels into Tripoli after joining up while on holidays

A DUBLIN native has been hailed as one of the main leaders of Libyan rebel groups as their national council is recognised internationally as the legitimate administration of the country.

Irish national Husam Najjair joined the Libyan revolution earlier this year after going over to his father's country to visit family, but he has since been at the forefront of the fight against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

The building contractor, who has led rebel groups on the final advance to Tripoli in the last 72 hours, has been cautious in his approach.

He admitted he was concerned that rebel forces might turn on one another as they pick their next leader.

"The first thing my brigade will do is set up checkpoints to disarm everyone, including other rebel groups, because otherwise it will be a bloodbath," he said. "All the rebel groups will want to control Tripoli. Order will be needed."

Husam's mother is Irish and he admitted that he started to feel a sense of responsibility only when he travelled to Libya for a family wedding in January. When the revolt began on February 17, he joined the fight.

"I wasn't always such a good Muslim in Dublin, you could say I spent some time at nightclubs," he revealed.

"This has made me learn about myself, what I am capable of achieving,"

Meanwhile, another Irish rebel joked yesterday that a year ago, he would never have thought he would be taking part in the political upheaval of the country. "This time last year I was in Ireland enjoying Electric Picnic. I never thought of it," said Kareem Salem, from Ballinasloe, Co Galway.