Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s wife and three children, Aisha, Hannibal and Mohammed, crossed into Algeria on Monday morning, the Algerian foreign ministry said.
The Algerian authorities said their arrival had been reported to the United Nations and the Libyan rebel authorities. “This information has been brought to the attention of the United Nations secretary-general, the Security Council president and Mahmud Jibril, president of the executive council of the National Transitional Council (NTC),” the interim administrative body set up by the rebels fighting Qaddafi for power in Libya, the ministry statement said.
The Italian news agency Ansa reported meanwhile that Qaddafi and his sons Saadi and Seif al Islam are in the town of Bani Walid south of Tripoli.
Ansa also cited the same sources in Rome as saying that at least four members of his family were in Algeria. The Algerian foreign ministry later confirmed the four crossed into Algeria earlier Monday.
Ansa said that another son of Qaddafi, Khamis, had “almost certainly” been killed on the way from Tripoli to Bani Walid. The fate of Khamis has been the subject of intense controversy in recent days, with the rebel leadership thrice claiming his death on the battlefield.
Former prime minister Abessalam Jalloud, who has fled to Rome, last week said Qaddafi could be hiding south of Tripoli.
“There are two possibilities: either he is hiding south of Tripoli or he left some time ago,” Jalloud told reporters.
The leader of the rebel National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, on Monday cautioned against a let-up in international action against Qaddafi saying he “still poses a danger, not only for Libya but for the world.”
“That is why we are calling for the coalition to continue its support,” Abdel Jalil said at a meeting of chiefs of staff in Doha of countries militarily involved in Libya.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2011.