Monday, August 22, 2011

Libya News Update: Seif Says 'We Have Trapped the Rebels and Are Breaking Their Backs in Tripoli'

Gaddafi's Son Seif-al-Islam Pops Up to Deny
Reports of His Capture

2011-08-23 04:13:13

Seif-al-Islam, the oldest son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has staged an appearance in Tripoli early Tuesday morning in order to disprove the rebels’ claims they caught him 24 hours ago.

Pro-Gaddafi TV channel al-Urubah has broadcast images of Saif al-Islam making a short speech denying he had been captured, during what the station called a "Tripoli tour", as cited by the BBC.

The Libyan rebels have been closing in on Tripoli and Gaddafi’s forces since Sunday but have met fierce resistance.

Seif-al-Islam’s appearance comes several hours after on Monday the rebels’ Transitional National Council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil confirmed that the rebels held captive both Seif-al-Islam and his brother Mohammed Gaddafi. Mohammed is known to have been freed from captivity by Gaddafi loyalists late Monday night.

It remains unclear if Seif-al-Islam was never captured, or he was caught by the rebels, and then somehow got away, as rebel representatives have claimed.

Gaddafi's son and presumed successor, Saif al-Islam, has appeared safe and well in the city in a government vehicle, despite claims by the rebels he had been captured. He told journalists that his father was safe in Tripoli.

"I am here to refute the lies. Tripoli is under our control," Seif-al-Islam Gaddafi is quoted as saying.

Saif al-Islam's appearance came after remarks by government spokesperson, Moussa Ibrahim, broadcast on pro-Gaddafi al-Urubah TV. He claimed Col Gaddafi and his sons were well, and claimed that the government had control of at least 75% of the city. The rebels on Monday night claimed they were holding about 80% of the city.

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