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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi vows continued resistance to rebels
By REUTERS
08/31/2011
Libyan leader's son urges Libyans to wage war of attrition against NTC, NATO; comments contrast with those of Gaddafi son Saadi.
 
Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, promised on Wednesday continued resistance to Libyan forces which ousted his father from Tripoli, and urged Libyans to wage a war of attrition against the National Transitional Council and its NATO backers.

In a statement broadcast on the Syrian-owned al-Rai satellite TV channel, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said he was speaking from a suburb of the Libyan capital and vowed to "liberate the Green Square" in Tripoli from the NTC forces.

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"We assure people we are here, ready and in good shape. Resistance is continuing and victory is near," he said, adding that 20,000 armed youths were ready for the NTC forces surrounding his father's hometown of Sirte.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi also discussed the state of his father. "We would like to assure people that we are steadfast and the commander is doing well."

He slammed NATO, which helped oust his father from Tripoli by providing air support to rebels, saying the alliance was now supporting a former al-Qaida member who he said had been appointed to a senior position in the capital Tripoli. "You will regret this a lot," he said.

His comments contrasted with those from another Gaddafi son, Saadi, who told al-Arabiya TV  he had contacted a commander of the Libyan National Transitional Council in Tripoli with authorization from his father as part of efforts to stop the bloodshed in Libya.

"We were talking about negotiations based on ending bloodshed," Saadi Gaddafi said referring to his telephone call with Abdel Hakim Belhadj, the chief of anti-Gaddafi forces in Tripoli, adding he was officially empowered to negotiate with the NTC.

"We acknowledge that they (the NTC) represent a legal party, but we are also the government and a legal negotiating party," he said.

The head of Tripoli's military council told Reuters on Wednesday he had promised Saadi Gaddafi 'decent treatment' if he surrenders.

"I spoke to him personally," Abdul Hakim Belhadj said. "He called and revealed his intention to come on the side of the rebels (...) We told Saadi we would guarantee him decent treatment in line with the human rights, legal rights of any Libyan person."

 US news network CNN earlier reported that Saadi denied he planned to surrender.

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