Libya: Former Gadhafi spokesman denies capture
Moussa Ibrahim arrested in town 40 miles south of Tripoli
The former spokesman for late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi denied a report Saturday that he was captured by Libyan special forces, saying in an audio message that he is not even in the country.
Moussa Ibrahim said the report was simply an attempt to distract people from the government’s alleged crimes in the city of Bani Walid, a former Gadhafi stronghold that has been the scene of clashes in recent days.
Mohammed al-Sabbee, the spokesman for Libya’s prime minister, told CNN on Saturday that Ibrahim was captured in the town of Tarhouna and that he was being taken to the capital of Tripoli, 40 miles to the north.
Two sources close to Ibrahim told CNN in recent months that the former Gadhafi spokesman was not in Libya, and Ibrahim said the same in the seven-minute video posted to his Facebook page late Saturday.
“We are currently outside of Libya and we have no communication with Bani Walid,” Ibrahim said in Arabic. “We are not even close to Bani Walid.”
It is the second time this month that Ibrahim has denied a government report of his capture.
Official sources also said Saturday that one of Gadhafi’s sons, Khamis Gadhafi, was killed after fighting in Bani Walid.
News of his death prompted thousands of residents in Tripoli to go out on the streets to celebrate, the state-run Libyan Arab News Agency reported.
Omar Hmaidan, the spokesman for the General National Congress, said Khamis Gadhafi was captured in the Bani Walid clashes and injured, and that he died after being taken to a hospital in Misrata, about 60 miles away. Libya’s deputy prime minister, Mustafa AbuShagur, said Khamis Gadhafi was killed in Bani Walid and that his body now lies in a Misrata hospital.
Khamis Gadhafi’s death could not be independently confirmed, however. There were no images of his capture or death, and he was already reported to have been killed in August last year in a battle with rebel forces between Tarhouna and Bani Walid.
Moammar Gadhafi was killed a year ago after he was shot in the head while being captured by rebel forces in his hometown of Sirte, Libya. His dictatorship lasted 42 years.