Conflicting Reports Of Gaddafi Son’s Capture


Mutassim Gaddafi, the fifth son of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi, was captured by rebel forces near besieged town of Sirte, BBC said.

However, top officials in the NTC stronghold of Benghazi could not confirm the claims, which have sparked celebratory gunfire in several cities, the channel reported.

Mutassim, 34, was a national security advisor to his father and was widely seen as a rival to his brother Saif al-Islam in the competition to succeed his father. He was in command of the defense of Sirte.

TNC sources earlier said, citing a captured Gaddafi loyalist, that Mutassim fled Sirte in early October.

An uprising against the Muammar Gaddafi regime began in February and developed into an armed civil conflict by March.

NATO launched its Operation Unified Protector in late March, following a UN resolution authorizing the use of military force to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by forces loyal to Gaddafi. The operation was extended for another 90 days in late September.

Following months of fierce fighting that claimed hundreds of lives, the Libyan Transitional National Council has established control over most of the country’s territory, including the capital of Tripoli.

Gaddafi loyalists, however, still maintain control of several Libyan towns, including Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte, which has been a site of heavy fighting for the past few weeks.

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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