Tripoli, Libya: Hunt For Dictator Continues As Gaddafi’s Family Flees

30 Aug

Muammar Gaddafi’s close family is said to have fled Libya as the hunt for the ousted dictator continues.

People demonstrate against Muammar Gaddafi at Green Square in Tripoli, Libya (AP)

Gaddafi’s wife Safiya, daughter Aisha and sons Hannibal and Mohammed arrived in neighbouring Algeria on Monday morning, according to state news agency APS.

The new Libyan government, being set up by the National Transitional Council (NTC), may seek to extradite the relatives and bring them to justice.

However, Algeria’s autocratic regime has not yet recognised the new Libyan administration and has successfully snuffed out anti-government protests in its own borders.

The whereabouts of Gaddafi himself remain unknown, although some of his other sons are thought to be in Tripoli, and there were reports that one, Khamis, had been killed in an air strike.

While the rebel-led NTC is seeking to establish the new government in Tripoli, pockets of resistance remain from forces loyal to Gaddafi. Fighting is still particularly intense around the coastal city of Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town.

A team of UK officials has begun work in Tripoli towards the reopening of the British embassy in the Libyan capital.

A Foreign Office (FCO) spokesman said the move to re-establish the British embassy reflected “recent military progress” against the Gaddafi regime.

Meanwhile, any prospect of the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing being extradited from Libya has been dismissed by Scotland’s First Minister. Alex Salmond spoke after footage showing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, looking ill and apparently close to death, was aired on US news channel CNN.

In the wake of calls, particularly from America, that the former Libyan intelligence agent should be sent back to prison in the US, Mr Salmond said: “The latest pictures broadcast of Mr al-Megrahi clearly demonstrate that he is an extremely sick man, dying of terminal prostate cancer. Hopefully, this will end the ridiculous conspiracy theories that seek to claim anything else.”

 

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