By Ria Novosti
Fugitive Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was denied political refuge in Algeria, the local Al Watan newspaper said on Thursday, quoting sources close to the Algerian presidential administration.
Gaddafi and his family stayed in the town of Ghadames at the Libyan-Algerian border, but they were not allowed to enter Algeria, the report said.
“Gaddafi was trying to contact [Algerian] president [Abdelaziz] Bouteflika by phone, but he refused to speak with him,” one of the paper’s sources said. Bouteflika’s aide reportedly told Gaddafi that the president was busy with domestic issues.
Another source said Gaddafi’s previous attempts to persuade the Algerian leadership to provide refuge to him and his family also failed.
“Algeria has taken a clear neutral position, we don’t want to interfere in Libya’s internal affairs,” he said.
The Libyan opposition leadership have announced a $1.7 million reward for the capture or killing of Gaddafi, whose whereabouts remains unknown as rebels have pursued their victorious march through the country.
Gaddafi’s wife Safia, his daughter Aisha and his sons Hannibal and Mohammed were allowed to cross into Algeria last week, which the Algerian authorities described as a “humanitarian” move. Aisha, who had been pregnant, was reported to have given a birth to a baby girl in the early hours of Tuesday.
Gaddafi’s family members have taken refuge in south-eastern Algeria, at the border with Libya, the report said. They are prohibited from moving within the country.
The Algerian authorities have ignored a demand by the Libyan opposition to hand over Gaddafi’s relatives.
One of the Al Watan’s sources said it was impossible that rebel authorities did not know about Gaddafi’s family members trying to escape from Libya.
“I can assure you that it was only possible [for the Gaddafi family to cross into Algeria] with the agreement and guarantees of some Transitional National Council (NTC) members,” he said.
Nicaragua denies ‘rumors’ about hosting Gaddafi
Media allegations that Gaddafi could take refuge in one of the Latin American countries were denied on Thursday by a high-ranking official in the Nicaraguan presidential administration.
“Rumors that have been circulated that Muammar Gaddafi could flee to Bolivia, Venezuela or Nicaragua, are groundless and constitute part of an information war unfolded in order to discredit our countries in the eyes of the international community,” Jacinto Suarez said in an interview with the El 19 Digital online edition.
The Nicaraguan authorities previously expressed their readiness to provide Gaddafi with political asylum should he ask for it.
The Nicaraguan government, Suarez said, will “in no circumstances” recognize the opposition Transitional National Council, which was “imposed on the world by Western forces and NATO.”
He said Western counties “created the Transitional National Council in order to legalize their actions under the guise of NATO aimed at gracing oil and handing it over to European and U.S. companies.”
Several dozen countries have already recognized the Council as a legitimate representative of the Libyan people.