Where could Libya's Muammar Gaddafi be?

Updated: 2011-09-06 09:00


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

TUNIS - Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi is on the run after being driven from power by a rebellion after 42-years of rule. Following are some details on the search for him:

* Libya's NATO-backed National Transitional Council, whose fighters drove Gadhafi from power, says it is using a network of informants from Gadhafi's entourage to track him down.

* The NTC has announced that anyone who kills or captures Gadhafi will be given immunity from prosecution. It also says a businessman has offered a $1.3 million reward for killing or capturing him.

* In a phone call to Reuters in Tunis on Saturday, Gadhafi's spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said he did not know the location of his boss -- whom he still refers to simply as "the leader". Ibrahim said Gadhafi was safe and surrounded by people who are willing to protect him.

* The interim rulers say Gadhafi never speaks on a mobile phone nor can they listen to the calls of his inner circle, but they can trace the calls of some of his peripheral friends.

* Some officials from Libya's new provisional government say that Gadhafi could survive in hiding longer than Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who was found in a hole nine months after he was toppled in April 2003.

* The NTC told Reuters it is using Google maps to target locations where Gadhafi may be hiding.

* Gadhafi's wife and three of his children fled into neighbouring Algeria in a convoy of armoured Mercedes cars earlier this week.

* There are three main towns in Libya still outside of provisional government control -- Bani Walid, Sirte and Sabha -- and there has been speculation that Gadhafi could be in any one of them. Some analysts, though, think the former strongman is too wily to stick around while NTC forces amass thousands of fighters and plan possible assaults should the towns refuse to surrender without a fight.  

* Bani Walid is home to the Warfalla -- Libya's biggest tribe and once a key pillar of support for Gadhafi's rule. NTC negotiators who have set up checkpoints outside the town say that anything from 20 to 100 fighters, fiercely loyal to the man once referred to as "Brother Leader", are still in control of the town centre and refusing to give up.

* Gadaffi's hometown, Sirte, has long been considered the place where the provisional government forces would face their stiffest resistance. A small fishing village when the former strongman toppled King Idris and came to power in 1969, he transformed it into a major town that often hosted international meetings, including an African Union summit.  

* Sabha -- in the middle of the Sahara desert -- is 600 km (400 miles) south of Tripoli and is also often referred to as a potential last staging post for Gadhafi and his sons. It was here that Gadhafi announced the "the dawn of the era of the masses".  

* A minority of analysts think it is possible he may have already slipped out of the country. Gadhafi has been officially offered asylum in tiny Burkina Faso. Other countries in Africa mooted as possible havens include Zimbabwe, South Africa and Eritrea.