- Libyan rebels are negotiating with the International Criminal Court
(ICC) to arrange the handover of Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam who
was detained late on Sunday, al Arabiya TV reported on Monday without
naming a source.
Gaddafi defiant as Libyan rebels besiege Tripoli
Battle outside Libyan capital, fighting spills to Tunisia
The ICC in June issued arrest warrants for
Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam 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.
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.
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!"
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.
Two of Gaddafi's sons were captured by the rebels, but the whereabouts of Gaddafi himself were unknown.
The rebels made their entrance into the capital driving in convoy through a western neighborhood.
defiant, Gaddafi earlier had made two audio addresses over state
television calling on Libyans to fight off the rebels.
"I am afraid if we don't act, they will burn Tripoli," he said. "There will be no more water, food, electricity or freedom."
resistance to the rebels initially appeared to have largely faded away,
allowing the rebels and their supporters to demonstrate in Green
Libyans kissed the ground in gratitude for what some called a "blessed day".
Green Square youths burned the green flags of the Gaddafi government
and raised the rebel flag. One rebel fighter from the Western mountain
said: "We are so happy -- we made it here without any problems."
Tripoli residents received a text message from the rebel leadership
saying: "God is Great. We congratulate the Libyan people on the fall of
Gaddafi, a colorful and often brutal autocrat
who has ruled Libya for more than 40 years, said he was breaking out
weapons stores to arm the population. His spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim,
predicted a violent reckoning by the rebels.
"A massacre will be
committed inside Tripoli if one side wins now, because the rebels have
come with such hatred, such vendetta ... Even if the leader leaves or
steps down now, there will be a massacre."After six months, Tripoli falls quickly
a six-month civil war, rebels moved quickly into Tripoli
, with a
carefully orchestrated uprising launched on Saturday night to coincide
with the advance of rebel troops on three fronts. Fighting broke out
after the call to prayer from the minarets of the mosques.
The United Nations then acted quickly, clearing the way for creation of a
no-fly zone that NATO, with a campaign of bombing, used ultimately to
help drive back Gaddafi's forces.
In Benghazi in the east, thousands gathered in a city-centre square
waving red, black and green opposition flags and trampling on pictures
of Gaddafi as news filtered through of rebel advances into Tripoli.
Celebratory gunfire and explosions rang out over the city and cars
blaring their horns crowded onto the streets. Overhead, red tracer
bullets darted into a black sky.
"It does look like it is coming to an end," said Anthony Skinner, Middle
East analyst, Maplecroft. "But there are still plenty of questions. The
most important is exactly what Gaddafi does now. Does he flee or can he
Gaddafi, in his second audio broadcast in 24 hours, dismissed the rebels as rats.
"I am giving the order to open the weapons stockpiles," Gaddafi said. "I
call on all Libyans to join this fight. Those who are afraid, give your
weapons to your mothers or sisters.
"Go out, I am with you until the end. I am in Tripoli. We will ... win."
A Libyan government official told Reuters that 376 people on both sides
of the conflict were killed in fighting overnight on Saturday in
Tripoli, with about 1,000 others wounded.
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