By Ria Novosti
Libyan rebels do not know embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts but are trying to find him, Transitional National Council head Mustafa Abdul Jalil said on Monday.
“Nobody knows where he is. We are trying to find that out,” he said in an interview with Al Arabia TV, adding the era of the Gaddafi regime was over.
Gaddafi may still be in Tripoli as fierce fighting rages around his residence in the country’s capital, media reports said earlier in the day. Government forces are refusing to surrender despite the rebels having gained control of much of Tripoli and arrested two of Gaddafi’s sons.
Jalil said earlier that Gaddafi’s days are numbered and the time has come for the Libyan leader to surrender power. He warned that Gaddafi “doesn’t care about Libya or its people.”
“He can make insane decisions in his last moments and we have to be fully prepared for such scenarios. He can burn down Tripoli, or even gas his own people.”
Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the government was ready for immediate negotiations with the rebels.
Meanwhile, Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi fled to neighboring Tunisia on Monday, al Jazeera reported.
Earlier in the day EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Gaddafi to step down to avoid further bloodshed.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also called on Gaddafi to end “the unnecessary resistance” and “save the people from further suffering.”
Gaddafi remained defiant on Sunday, saying he “will stay till the end” and urged his supporters to keep fighting to liberate the capital from the rebels.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated its call to the international community on Monday not to interfere with Libyan “domestic affairs.”
“Regarding the current events, we urge all the states to refrain from meddling in Libyan domestic affairs and assist the protection of civilians and building of legitimate power in the country,” the ministry said in a statement.
Moscow also expressed hope that the bloodshed in Libya will cease after the rebels take power in the country.
In a further development, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière said Berlin may deploy troops to Libya if Gaddafi falls.
“If there are requests to the Bundeswehr, we will examine them constructively,” he told the regional German newspaper Rheinische Post.