Gaddafi foreign minister caught – rebels

2011-09-01 11:08
Tripoli - Libyan rebels have captured Muammar Gaddafi’s foreign minister, a rebel official said Thursday.

Ahmed Said, an adviser to the interior minister in the rebels' interim government, confirmed that the foreign minister had been captured but he did not identify him by name.

"We cannot give you details, but I can confirm that he is in custody," Said said.

A week ago, Gaddafi’s foreign minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi told British broadcaster Channel 4 that Gaddafi’s 42-year rule was over.

After six months of civil war, rebels have seized control of most of Libya, including the capital Tripoli, effectively ending Gaddafi’s rule. The long-time leader and his family, however had not been captured and rebels are hunting senior figures in the ousted regime. Rebels say they are hot on Gaddafi’s trail.

Late on Wednesday, two men claiming to be two different sons of Gaddafi made conflicting appeals from hiding, one calling for talks with rebel leaders and the other urging regime loyalists to fight to the death.

The duelling messages reflected the growing turmoil in Gaddafi’s inner circle on the eve of the 42nd anniversary of his rise to power. The rebels are pooling tips about Gaddafi’s whereabouts from captured regime fighters and others, and believe he is most likely no longer in Tripoli, said Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the rebels' military chief in the capital.

Rebel forces have been advancing toward three regime strongholds: Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, the town of Bani Walid south of Misrata and Sabha, hundreds of miles south of the capital Tripoli.

There has been speculation that Gaddafi is hiding in one of those three towns.

- AP
Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
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