Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi speaks on state television in this February 22, 2011 image taken from video footage. [Photo/Agencies]
TRIPOLI/CARACAS - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said in a brief TV appearance on Tuesday that he is still in Tripoli, rejecting reports that he fled the country and headed to Venezuela.
"I am in Tripoli, I am not in Venezuela," he said in short statements live broadcast by state TV from his Tripoli residence.
State TV said earlier that Gaddafi will make remarks from his Tripoli residence to denounce "malicious rumors."
Meanwhile, Venezula's foreign ministry said in a statement that Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa has confirmed in a phone call with his Venezulan counterpart Nicolas Maduro that the Libyan leader hasn't left his country, and is still in Tripoli.
According to the statement, Maduro also denounced British Foreign Secretary William Hague's "irresponsible remarks" on Monday that he had "some information" suggesting that Gaddafi was en route to Venezuela.
Maduro told Koussa that Venezuela hopes Libyan people could overcome current difficulties in a peaceful way.
Protests erupted in Libya in recent days with unconfirmed press reports of mass casualities.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for an immediate end to the violence in Libya given the report that the Libyan government used war planes and helicopters against demonstrators.
But Libyan state TV reported that Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam has denied that warplanes had bombarded protesters in the capital of Tripoli and Benghazi, saying targets were ammunition depots in remote areas.