Muammar Qaddafi was a hunted man on Monday as loyal remnants of his forces made last-ditch stands in the capital and world leaders rushed to embrace the fractious rebel movement as new masters of Libya’s oil riches. Qaddafi’s tanks and sharpshooters appeared to hold only small areas, including his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters compound. President Barack Obama pressed Qaddafi, who has refused to surrender, to “explicitly” give up power and warned exuberant rebels that their struggles were “not over yet” and urged them to not seek justice through violent reprisals. He also made it clear that the United States would be a friend and partner to Libya. “The Qaddafi regime is coming to an end and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people,” Obama said in a statement to reporters.
Two sons in custody, third escapes Qaddafi’s whereabouts were not known after rebels said they held three of his sons, including heir apparent Seif al-Islam. Al-Jazeera later said one of the other two captured sons, Mohammed, had managed to escape but that the body of a fourth, military commander Khamis, might have been found along with that of Qaddafi’s intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi.
‘Qaddafi has not fled’
The White House said on Monday it had “no evidence” that Qaddafi had left Tripoli. “There’s no evidence to indicate that he’s left,” spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. There has been speculation he might seek refuge in his home region around Sirte. Wires
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.