Libyan rebels doubt Gaddafi’s son is dead

May 1st, 2011 - 9:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Tripoli, May 1(ANI): Libyan rebel fighters have questioned government’s claim that dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren were killed in a NATO missile attack last night.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim had said that Saif Al-Arab Gaddafi, 29, was killed in a precision air strike on a house in a compound in Tripoli.
He said the Libyan leader and his wife were in the building, but were not harmed, and called the strike “a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country”.

However, a rebel said: “I don’t believe it because it is all on the Libya channels and that is all lies.”

“I don’t think it is true because since February 17 everything Gaddafi has said has been lies. He did it before: in 1986 he said his daughter was killed, but she is still alive,” another rebel added.

Lack of material evidence to support the report, which was aired on state-controlled channels also fed mistrust among opposition media professionals.

“Gaddafi has said Seif is dead… so where is the body? Show us the body,” ABC quoted Alaa al-Obeidi, a producer for the Qatar-based opposition channel Libya al-Ahrar, as saying.

“Personally, I don’t think he is dead. He will get new IDs and passports to leave the country and go live in Africa, probably Uganda, which has good ties with Gaddafi,” he added.

Saif Al-Arab was the lowest-profile of the Libyan leader’s sons and is not to be confused with Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the dictator’s heir-apparent. However, he had played an active role in seeking to quell the rebellion that has seen pro-democracy supporters gain control of the east of the country, including Benghazi.

Gaddafi’s supporters called the air strike a failed assassination attempt, and claimed that NATO was now directly targeting their leader, and that this went beyond the remit of United Nations resolutions.

The news of the attack was greeted with anger in Tripoli, where sounds of gunfire could be heard across the city.

Yesterday, Gaddafi had refused to give up power, but said that he was ready for a ceasefire and negotiations provided NATO ’stop its planes’. (ANI)

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