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Libya: NTC commander claims prisoners say Gaddafi is in Sirte

By Katerina Nikolas     Oct 14, 2011 in World
According to a National Transitional Council brigade commander, Col. Muammer Gaddafi is in Sirte. He claims the information was provided by captured pro-Gaddafi prisoners. He also admitted that claims of Gaddafi's son Mutassim's capture were not true.
Claims that Mutassim Gaddafi, fifth son of ousted Libyan leader Col. Muammer Gaddafi, was caught whilst escaping Sirte, have now been denied by a National Transitional Council military source. On Wednesday NTC Col. Abdullah Naker said that Mutassim had been captured, but these claims have now been denied by Wesam Bin Hamid, brigade commander of the Martyrs of Free Libya Brigade. In a more remarkable claim Bin Hamid says that prisoners caught in Sirte have told their captors that Muammer Gaddafi himself is in Sirte.
According to RFI Bin Hamid said “It is not true that Mutassim was captured” adding “But some prisoners we have captured are saying that Kadhafi (himself) is in Sirte.” NTC fighters also claim to have caught the former mufti of Libya, Khaled Tantoosh, who was apparently caught fleeing Sirte, having disguised himself by shaving off his beard. As a supporter of Gaddafi there is propaganda value in claims of his arrest, which remain unverified at this time.
It comes as no surprise that false claims regarding Mutassim’s capture were made as it follows a pattern of announcements by the NTC that high profile Gaddafi loyalists have fallen into rebel fighters’ hands. The latest claim regarding Col. Gaddafi’s whereabouts appear equally suspect as there has been no solid leads as to his whereabouts since Tripoli fell. Speculation has been rife that Gaddafi could be in Ghadamis, Bani Walid, Sabha or Tripoli, or that he could have fled the country and headed off to one of his African allies. The BBC devoted a full article to speculating as to his possible hiding place but it remains pure conjecture with no solid leads.
Meanwhile fighting in Sirte continues as pro-Gaddafi fighters’ battle on. According to Portal to Africa, NTC fighter Fayisal Ahmed Bringo said there were still 500 pro-Gaddafi fighters in Sirte of whom 15 were captured on Friday.
More about Muammer Gaddafi, Mutassim Gaddafi, Wesam Bin Hamid, Martyrs of Free Libya Brigade, Libya
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