Khamis Gaddafi, the youngest son of Colonel Gaddafi, has been reported killed in fighting between a pro-Gadaffi garrison and militias who support the Libyan government in Bani Walid.
Accounts of Khamis death vary. Khamis was also reported killed back in Aug. 29, 2011 when rebels report that he was killed in a NATO airstrike. The timing is convenient in that it is exactly a year ago that his father was killed.
Omar Hamdan, a Libyan national congress spokesperson said that Khamis was killed in battle but gave no details. His body was supposedly found after a day of fighting between a pro-Gadaffi garrison and militias in the town of Bani Walid. The town has been under siege for days. There are reports of 13 dead and 121 wounded after four days of clashes. The body is supposedly being brought to Misrata. No doubt it will be put on display, as was the body of his father. Libyan Army spokesperson Mohammed El Gandus said: "A lot of people who supported Gaddafi are hiding now in Bani Walid, we have a list of names"
There are other reports of what happened. The Libyan deputy prime minister, Mustafa Abushagur in a tweet said that Kamis was captured in Bani Walid and died soon after. Some sceptical foreign journalists were asking for evidence of the claims that he was dead. Abushagur tweeted an apology later for having announced Khamis' death before he had confirmation.
Nevertheless the Guardian and other news outlets have reported Khamis' death. If his body is being taken to Misrata this should allow for positive identification.
There have been noisy street demonstrations in Tripoli with blazing guns and fireworks. There are celebrations as well in Misrata whose militia have been leading the attack on Bani Walid. The Libyan leaders gave the green light for the Misrata militia to go ahead with their attack. Human rights organizations have protested. Tarek Mitri the U.N. envoy to Libya said: “In the interests of national reconciliation and long-term stability of the country, a mediated settlement is urgently needed."
Khamis' death was announced just after Gadaffi's former spokesperson Mussa Ibrahim was also reportedly arrested. The prime minister's office said:“He is being taken to Tripoli, where he will be handed over to the pertinent authorities to begin questioning."
Later the government said there was no confirmation of his arrest. At the same time, an audiotape was released which purportedly is of Ibrahim himself denying his arrest! Some sceptics think the announcements were meant to divert attention from indiscriminate shelling of Bani Walid.
Gaddafi's remaining family is scattered. His wife, Safiya, is in Algeria together with his eldest son Hannibal, and their sole daughter birth Aisha. Saadi Gaddafi is in Niger which so far has refused to extradite him. Saif is in custody. The whereabouts of their adopted daughter Hana are unknown.