Muammar Gaddafi
Photo: AP, MCT
Libyan rebels
Photo: Tsur Shezaf

Gaddafi escapes to Algeria?

Convoy crosses Libyan border to neighboring Algeria; rebels estimate Gaddafi was among passengers, Egyptian news agency says

A convoy of six armored vehicles has crossed the Libyan border to Algeria on Saturday night, the Egyptian news agency reported. While it is unclear who was riding in the cars, a rebel forces source estimated that the convoy transported senior Libyan officials – including the embattled leader, Muammar Gaddafi.


The report quoted a Libyan military council source as saying that troops loyal to Gaddafi's regime accompanied the convoy to the border. There was no official confirmation of the claim.


Algeria continues to maintain neutrality in the conflict, as it did throughout Libya's civil war.


Contradictory reports over Gaddafi's whereabouts have been surfacing the media in recent days, espcially ever since rebel forces took over strategic parts of the Libyan capital; experts estimated that the dictator intends to escape to a neighboring country, perhaps using an intricate network of tunnels stretching from his compound.


On Thursday Gaddafi released an audio speech, urging his supporters to march on Tripoli and "purify" the capital of rebels, who he denounced as "rats, crusaders and unbelievers." Gaddafi called on all Libya's tribes to rally and expel what he called foreign agents from the country.


"Libya is for the Libyan people and not for the agents, not for imperialism, not for France, not for Sarkozy, not for Italy," he said. "Tripoli is for you, not for those who rely on NATO".


Lockerbie convict escapes Libya?

Meanwhile, authorities in the West continued to search for Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted in the December 1988 bombing of a US-bound airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland.


They attributed the loss of contact with Megrahi, who had been serving a minimum 27-year prison sentence for the bombing of Pan Am 103, to chaotic conditions in Libya caused by rebels' climactic push to oust Gaddafi.


Scotland decided to release Megrahi from prison in 2009 on health grounds, as it was believed that his illness was so advanced he would be dead within three months. His survival has infuriated relatives of victims who died in the Pan Am 103 bombing and their supporters in Congress.


If Megrahi does not reappear in the relatively near future, it could cause fresh strains in relations between Scotland, Britain, and the United States. US politicians and the Obama administration harshly criticized Scotland's decision to release Megrahi.




פרסום ראשון: 08.27.11, 10:16
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