Tripoli has denied that Khamis Gaddafi, the youngest son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was killed in a NATO airstrike on Zliten. Khamis is the commander of an elite fighting unit in the war against the imperialists and their allies., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Libyan government denies death of Col Gaddafi's son
The Libyan government has denied on Friday a claim by rebel forces that a NATO raid overnight killed Col Gaddafi's son Khamis in the western town of Zliten.
By Our Foreign Staff
London Daily Telegraph
1:13PM BST 05 Aug 2011
"Basically the news about the killing of Khamis by a NATO air strike are very dirty lies to cover the murder of civilians in the peaceful city," said government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim.
A rebel military spokesman said NATO had hit a military operations centre overnight in the western town of Zliten killing 32, including Khamis, a feared military commander.
"Overnight there was an aircraft attack by NATO on the Kadhafi operations room in Zliten and there are around 32 Kadhafi troops killed. One of them is Khamis," Mohammed Zawawi, a spokesman for revolutionary militias, told AFP.
Zawawi cited spies operating among Gaddafi's ranks and intercepted radio chatter as sources.
There was no independent verification of Khamis's death, which has been rumoured a number of times during Libya's five month-long civil war.
From the Naples headquarters of NATO's Libya operations an official confirmed the alliance's warplanes had hit at least two targets in Zliten overnight, but made no comment about the reports of Khamis's death.
"We are aware of the news reports," the official told AFP.
"NATO struck an ammunition storage at around 8:15 pm (1815 GMT) in Zliten and a military police facility within a combat area at around 10:45 pm in the area of Zliten yesterday," he added.
If confirmed Khamis's death would be a huge blow to both the regime's military and the morale of Kadhafi's inner circle.
The 28-year-old Khamis trained at a Russian military academy and commands the eponymous and much-feared Khamis Brigade - one of the Libyan regime's toughest fighting units.