Sunday, October 21, 2012

Khamis Ghadaffi killed in Bani Walid

The seventh and youngest son of the Libyan slain strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi has been declared dead after his capture on Saturday, sources told Al Arabiya.

The sources said that Khamis al-Qaddafi, who was a military commander in charge of the Khamis Brigade of the Libyan Army, was severely wounded when arrested.

Hiteen Brigade, belonging to the Military Revolutionary Council in the northwestern city of Misrata, arrested Qaddafi’s son, exactly a year after the dictator’s death, the sources added.

However, Mohammed Maqrif, Head of the Libyan National Congress, told Al Arabiya that Qaddafi’s son was killed during the Bani Walid clashes on Saturday.

There were conflicting reports about Qaddafi’s son whereabouts, some mulled that he fled to Niger.

Capture of Qaddafi’s spokesman

In the same day, Libyan militias captured Qaddafi’s former spokesman, while leader Mohammed Magarief said some areas of the country still needed to be fully “liberated.”

Despite Libya was declared “liberated” a few days after Qaddafi’s capture and its new rulers have led the nation to elections, they have struggled to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons.

Moussa Ibrahim, who was the mouthpiece of the Qaddafi regime during last year’s war, was caught in the town of Tarhouna, 70 km (40 miles) south of Tripoli.

“Moussa Ibrahim has been arrested by forces belonging to the Libyan government in the town of Tarhouna and he is being transferred to Tripoli to begin interrogation,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.

The government has previously made false claims regarding the capture of Qaddafi loyalists, and produced no photographs on Saturday showing Ibrahim in detention.

His whereabouts have been unknown since the fall of the capital in August 2011. The government claimed to have caught him last October but he called Reuters to deny the report.

Fluent in English, Ibrahim would hold regular press conferences in the luxury Tripoli hotel were journalists stayed during last year’s war.

Former revolutionary fighters have maintained Qaddafi loyalists have used the town of Bani Walid as a safe haven, protected by the large Warfala tribe which has historically been loyal to Qaddafi’s tribe.

Clashes in ex-Qaddafi bastion

Clashes between Libyan pro-government forces and fighters of Bani Walid, a former bastion of Qaddafi, killed nine people on Saturday and wounded more than 100 others, AFP reported a medical official as saying.

“The hospital has received nine people killed and 122 wounded,” from the fighting, said the medical official in the city of Misrata, northeast of Bani Walid, where pro-government forces are being treated.

“Most of the injuries were caused by light weapons, suggesting close-quarter fighting, and some were hurt by shrapnel,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Witnesses said that Misrata’s main hospital was packed with the wounded and their distraught relatives and that ambulances were constantly arriving with more casualties from the battlefront.

The fighting erupted as pro-government forces pushed into the center (of) Bani Walid to snuff out criminals and diehard former regime loyalists who found shelter there, Colonel Ali al-Sheikhi, spokesman of the chief of staff, said.

The violence comes exactly one year after Qaddafi was captured and killed in his hometown Sirte, which was the last city to fall to NATO-backed rebels in the 2011 conflict that ousted his regime.

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