Rebels say no firm information on Gadhafi location

Updated: 2011-08-28 15:01

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* Gadhafi unlikely to be in Sirte: rebel spokesman

* Rebels may seek policing help from Arab countries

* No date for rebel chief to move to Tripoli

 BENGHAZI, Libya - Libya's rebels have no concrete information on the location of Muammar Gadhafi or his sons, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), said on Saturday.

Rebel fighters who took control of the Libyan capital this week say Gadhafi and his sons are in hiding and have offered a $1.3 million reward and amnesty from prosecution for anyone who kills or captures him.

Egypt's state news agency sparked a new round of speculation about his whereabouts when it quoted a Libyan rebel source as saying a convoy of six armoured Mercedes cars which crossed from Libya into Algeria may have been carrying Gadhafi.

Rebel officials and fighters have said on several occasions they know where he is and have him cornered, but those assertions have later turned out to be wrong.

"We have no factual report about the whereabouts of Gadhafi and his sons," Abdel Jalil said.

Speaking at a news conference, he said the council might consider inviting police officers from Arab or Muslim states to Libya to held with security, but did not want a police presence from any other nations.

He also said that anyone who had worked in a senior posiiton for Gadhafi and had not defected by now to the rebel cause "will not be allowed to have a place in the future Libya, politically speaking."

Rebel commanders are still negotiating with Gadhafi loyalists to try to persuade them to surrender control over the city of Sirte, Gadhafi's home town about 500 km (310 miles) east of Tripoli, Abdel Jalil said.

HUNT FOR Gadhafi

A spokesman for the rebel council dampened speculation that Gadhafi might be holed up in Sirte.

"He probably won't be in Sirte because Sirte is landlocked from three sides and (there is) the sea from the other. There is no way for him to get away," said the spokesman, Shamsiddin Abdulmolah.

"There is a possibility he is still in the Tripoli area. But if not he's more likely to be near the Algerian border because Algeria has still not recognised the NTC."

The rebel council is under pressure to establish its authority in Tripoli quickly and deal with a breakdown of public services that followed the collapse of Gadhafi's rule.

Corpses are rotting outside hospitals, garbage is piled up in the streets, and many people have no water.

Asked when the NTC would move to the capital from its base in Benghazi, eastern Libya, Abdulmolah said: "Most of the executive committee is already over there now in Tripoli.

But he said the question of when Abdel Jalil, a former justice minister under Gadhafi, would transfer to Tripoli, would depend on security considerations.

 

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