Gadhafi Sons Free as NATO Bombs Compound

Monday, 22 Aug 2011 07:39 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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TUNIS - NATO warplanes were bombing Moammar Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli early on Tuesday, Al-Arabiya television reported, citing rebel sources who said they could hear the attacks from nearby. 

Meanwhile, in a sign that events in Tripoli are unfolding quickly and remain volatile, CNN is reporting that one of Gadhafi's son's, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, who was reportedly captured by rebel forces on Sunday, made an appearance at Tripoli's Rixos Hotel early Tuesday.

According to CNN's Matthew Chance, Saif appeared outside the hotel where loyalists retain control, in an armored cruiser. Chance spoke to Saif and took a photo. Gadhafi and the family remain in Tripoli, Saif said, adding that the rebels had been "lured into a trap."

Saif reportedly shook hands and greeted supporters while leaning outside of a car; he flashed a victory sign and the car sped away. According to the report, Saif said his father's regime "has broken the spines of those rats and those gangsters" — the rebels who entered the city Sunday.

The elder Gadhafi and his forces "will reassure the people that things are fine in Tripoli," Saif said.

He also made reference to the warrant for his arrest by the International Criminal Court: "To hell with the ICC," Saif said.

More than a day earlier, National Transitional Council officials claimed he had been captured in Tripoli after rebels entered the capital.

Rebel leaders did not immediately comment on Saif's appearance; they had reported his capture on Sunday.

Earlier, Libya's ambassador to the United States told CNN that another of Gadhafi's sons, Mohammad Gadhafi, had escaped from rebel custody.

Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali, a rebel representative, said that forces had found Mohammad Gadhafi in his home and he was allowed to stay there at his request.

But later, Mohammed Gadhafi was "hijacked" by other forces, "maybe Gadhafi's forces," the ambassador told CNN.

"We don't know the story how he was taken out from his house," he said.

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