Interim Libyan leader puts bounty on Gaddafi's head

Mustafa Mohamed Abud Ajleil offers amnesty, $1.3 million to whoever captures ousted leader; Western journalists freed from Tripoli hotel.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
August 24, 2011 18:32
2 minute read.
Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah Tripoli compound

Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah Tripoli compound 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Louafi Larbi)

 
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Amnesty and $1.3 million will be awarded to whoever captures ousted Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi dead or alive, announced head of the interim government Mustafa Mohamed Abud Ajleil on Wednesday, according to Army Radio. The money reward is being offered by an unidentified Benghazi businessman.

Gaddafi vowed on Wednesday to fight on to death or victory after rebels forced him to abandon his Tripoli stronghold in what appeared to be a decisive blow against the Libyan leader's 42-year rule.

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He said his withdrawal from his headquarters in the heart of the capital was a tactical move after it had been hit by 64 NATO air strikes and he vowed "martyrdom" or victory in his fight against the alliance.

Gaddafi's exact whereabouts are still unknown.

The offer comes the same day as all Western journalists have been freed from Tripoli's Hotel Rixos where they had been trapped by loyalists to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, CNN reported.

Some 35 foreign journalists and at least two foreign politicians had been trapped for five days in deteriorating conditions in the once-opulent Rixos hotel.

While opposition forces control large parts of Tripoli, fighting continued as Gaddafi loyalists bombarded areas in the center of the capital, including the neighborhood of the hotel.



The Rixos hotel just south of the Tripoli city center appeared to be one of the few parts of the city not under rebel control. Foreign media inside the hotel, including Reuters journalists, have for days been holed up inside the hotel. Snipers were active on the streets outside.

A Reuters reporter in the hotel said food and water supplies were running low. She said early on Wednesday that armed men loyal to Gaddafi who had been patrolling the hotel compound were no longer in sight, but it was not clear if they had withdrawn.

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