'Gaddafi's son Mohammed flees house arrest'

Al Jazeera says forces loyal to Libyan leader help his son to flee as rebels seek to secure full control of Tripoli.

By REUTERS
August 22, 2011 21:16
3 minute read.
Muammar Gaddafi appears on State TV

Gaddafi on state TV 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Libyan TV)

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi helped his son Mohammed flee house arrest on Monday, Al Jazeera television reported, as rebels sought to secure full control of the capital Tripoli.

Mohammed Gaddafi was among three of Gaddafi's sons to be captured by the rebels. The loyalist fighters stormed the house where Mohammed was held and set him free after clashes with guards there, the pan-Arab news channel said. It said NATO was working with the rebels to mount coordinated air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi's heavily fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound in the capital.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Gaddafi defiant as Libyan rebels besiege Tripoli
Battle outside Libyan capital, fighting spills to Tunisia

Earlier on Monday, Libyan rebels captured Gaddafi's son Saadi, Al Arabiyah television reported, citing the head of the rebel National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdul-Jalil.

Abdul-Jalil, has said no one knows the whereabouts of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Al Arabiya reported.

Al Arabiya also quoted him as saying no negotiations are under way between the rebel leadership and the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, on Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, one of the leader's sons now being held by the rebels. An ICC official said earlier talks were under way with the rebels on transferring Saif al-Islam to the war crimes court.

The ICC in June issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son
and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity after the UN Security Council referred the Libyan situation to the court in February.

Also on Monday, Libya's Jamahiriyah state television channel went off the air and a rebel spokesman said forces opposed to Muammar Gaddafi had taken control of state TV headquarters in Tripoli.

"The revolutionaries stormed the television building ... after killing the soldiers surrounding it. It is now under their control," the spokesman said. He was speaking after television screens airing the Jamahiriyah station went blank.


Rebel National Transitional Council Coordinator Adel Dabbechi confirmed Saturday night that Gaddafi's younger son Saif had been captured. The International Criminal Court in The Hague confirmed he had been held and said he should be handed over for trial.


Gaddafi's other son Khamis was leading a military force towards central Tripoli, Al Arabiya TV said on Tuesday, citing rebel sources. The Dubai-based channel said the forces departed from Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Gaddafi's eldest son Mohammed Al-Gaddafi had surrendered to rebel forces, Dabbechi told Reuters. In a television interview, the younger Gaddafi said gunmen had surrounded his house, but he later told al-Jazeera in a phone call that he and his family were unharmed.

The fighters swept into the heart of Tripoli and crowds took to the streets to celebrate what they saw as the end of Muammar Gaddafi's four decades of power, but a government fightback was reported as dawn broke on Monday.

A column of hundreds of rebel fighters and pickup trucks carrying rocket launchers moved through the Libyan capital towards the central Green Square on Monday, a Reuters reporter in the city said.

The rebels in the column were shouting "Allahu Akbar!" or "God is greatest!"

Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East

Tanks emerged from Gaddafi's stronghold in the center of the Libyan capital and were shelling the area, Al Jazeera television reported.

Despite euphoria among rebels and their backers in Tripoli and elsewhere, a rebel spokesman, identified on Al Jazeera as Nasser, said government troops still controlled "about 15 to 20 percent of the city".

Earlier, rebels waving opposition flags and firing into the air drove into Green Square, a symbolic showcase the government had until recently used for mass demonstrations in support of the now embattled Gaddafi. Rebels immediately began calling it Martyrs Square.


Related Content

May 23, 2018
Palestinian Authority joins Chemical Weapons Convention

By TOVAH LAZAROFF