Free And Defiant Saif al-Islam Still At Large In Tripoli

23/08/2011 05:58 | Updated 22 October 2011
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PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Muammar Gaddafi is still at large as loyalist forces staged a defiant and bloody last stand in the Libyan capital against advancing rebels.

In a morale boosting development for the regime, the embattled dictator's son Saif al-Islam also appeared in Tripoli - just days after he was reportedly arrested by anti-government forces.

Television images showed a jubilant and free Saif al-Islam meeting supporters outside a loyalist-held hotel before claiming that forces loyal to his father had "broken the backbone" of the rebel offensive. He also indicated that Gaddafi remained in the violence-torn capital, stating that the weakening regime remained in control.

Saif al-Islam's unlikely appearance came after David Cameron and President Obama called on Gaddafi to "relinquish power once and for all".

The leaders shared a late night telephone call during which they discussed plans for a "peaceful transition to democracy". But they also warned rebels to continue "avoiding civilian casualties" and preside over reforms that were "just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya".

Loyalist forces fought fierce battles as rebels surged into Tripoli from all directions, taking control of large areas of the city. There were significant casualties after clashes around the dictator's heavily fortified compound.

The head of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, warned that victory was not yet complete. But he added: "The youth of Libya have written an epic heroic battle."

Saif al-Islam, who is regarded as Gaddafi's immediate successor, was pictured outside the Hotel Rixos in the early hours where he spoke to western journalists before driving in a convoy through loyalist strong-holds in the city. He said the rebels had fallen into a "trap" in Tripoli, adding: "We are going to win, because the people are with us."

Mr Cameron, who broke off his holiday in Cornwall as rebel forces advanced on Tripoli, said people should be "proud" of Britain's role in the uprising but stressed there was no room for "complacency". Speaking in Downing Street he called on Gaddafi to "stop fighting, without conditions".

He added: "Our task now is to do all we can to support the will of the Libyan people which is for an effective transition to a free, democratic and inclusive Libya. This will be and must be and should be a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process with broad international support co-ordinated by the UN. This has not been our revolution, but we can be proud that we have played our part."

08/29/2011 8:31 PM EDT

Witness Says Gaddafi Troops Killed Nearly 150 Prisoners

CNN reports:

Muneer Masoud Own, 33, who made a living doing manual labor, said forces loyal to longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi slaughtered nearly 150 prisoners as rebels closed in on Tripoli last week.

Charred bodies littered the ground around a warehouse -- roughly 30 feet by 45 feet -- where the detainees were kept. A volunteer who helped remove them, Bashir Own, estimated that he had seen about 150 bodies. He is not related to Muneer Own, who said he barely escaped an ordeal that started about a month ago.

Full story here.

08/29/2011 6:02 PM EDT

Prayer In Benghazi

Dozens of Libyans perform the last late afternoon prayer of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at Freedom Square in the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi on August 29, 2011.

08/29/2011 5:01 PM EDT

Gaddafi Intelligence Chief May Be Killed

Libya rebels claim to have "almost certain information" that Gaddafi's intelligence chief was killed.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Libya rebels have "almost certain information" that Gaddafi intelligence chief killed on Sat. -Spokesman tells al-Arabiya TV

08/29/2011 3:40 PM EDT

Rebel Commander Speaks On Khamis Gaddafi

The rebel commander in Tripoli Al Mahdi Al Haraqi told Reuters that he had confirmation that Khamis Gaddafi has been killed in a clash near Ben Walid.

Reuters writes:

He was taken to a hospital but died of his wounds and was buried in the area, Al-Haragi said, without giving the timing. No independent confirmation of the death was available.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the United States could not yet independently confirm Khamis' death but said similar information was being received in Washington from "reliable sources."

Rebels claimed twice before Khamis Gaddafi was killed.

08/29/2011 3:15 PM EDT

NTC Considers Sheltering Of Gaddafi Relatives An Act Of Aggression

Libya's National Transitional Council reacted strongly on the message that relatives of Gaddafi would have arrived in Algeria, Reuters reports.

A spokesperson for the NTC said it considers sheltering members of Gaddafi's family an act of aggression.

"We have promised to provide a just trial to all those criminals and therefore we consider this an act of aggression," spokesman Mahmoud Shamman told Reuters.

"We are warning anybody not to shelter Gaddafi and his sons. We are going after them in any place to find them and arrest them," he said.

08/29/2011 2:42 PM EDT

Khamis Gaddafi Reportedly Killed -- Again

A rebel commander in Tripoli claims Gaddafi's son Khamis has been killed in clashes in southern Libya.

Khamis was claimed killed twice before.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Gaddafi's son Khamis killed in clashes in southern Libya -Rebel commander in Tripoli

08/29/2011 2:35 PM EDT

ENI Reaches Agreement On Gas Export

AFP reports Italian energy company ENI reached an agreement with the Libyan National Transitional Council to take up gas supplies to Italy.

08/29/2011 2:12 PM EDT

Libya Rebels Seek Extradition Gaddafi Family

Libyan rebels they seek the extradition of Gaddafi's family members who fled to Algeria.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Libya rebels say will seek extradition of Gaddafi family from Algeria

08/29/2011 2:07 PM EDT

Sky News Reports Gaddafi's Son Has Been Killed

Rebel commanders say Khamis Gaddafi, one of Colonel Gaddafi's most feared sons, has been killed in an air strike south of Tripoli.

08/29/2011 1:15 PM EDT

Algeria Confirms Arrival Of Gaddafi Relatives

Algeria confirms two of Gaddafi's sons, his daughter Aicha and his wife are in the country.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Algeria confirms two of Gaddafi's sons, wife and daughter are in the country - Al-Jazeera TV