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May 30th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Libyan generals, soldiers defect; South African leader meets Gadhafi

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Eight generals from embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's army have defected to Italy, the Italian Foreign Ministry told CNN Monday.

The generals were accompanied by more than 100 Libyan soldiers, a senior Italian official with first-hand knowledge of and responsibility for the operation said.

The Libyans crossed their country's border into Tunisia, where they were met by Italian intelligence agents, the official said.

The news came on the same day that South African President Jacob Zuma met with Gadhafi to push for a cease-fire between Gadhafi's forces and rebel fighters, officials said.

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