Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wild celebration following Mu'atassim Qadhafi's reported capture in Sirte

Tonight there is wild celebratory gunfire throughout Tripoli and Benghazi as rumours spread that Mu'atassim Qadhafi - the Leader's fourth son and former National Security Advisor - has been captured in Sirte.

It was confirmed by some members of the National Transitional Council (NTC) that Mu'atassim, who was apparently leading the Qadhafi loyalists' defence of Sirte, was flown to Benghazi earlier today. It has not yet, however, been officially confirmed and there must be concern that this may turn out to be another premature and embarrassing mistake like the one when Saif al-Islam was incorrectedly said to have been captured. Despite his brutal past Mu'atassim is not on the International Criminal Court's wanted list so he will presumably be tried in Libya if he has indeed been captured.

It is believed that his elder brother Saif al-Islam, who was also his principal rival to succeed their father, may still be in Bani Walid which has been beseiged by the interim government for many weeks. If this is true then his capture can only be a matter of time.

Meanwhile, it is thought that Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi himself is somewhere in south-west Libya near the Algerian border.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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