Libyan rebel to give Gaddafi hat to his father

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2011 3:07 PM
Libyan rebel to give Gaddafi hat to his father

CAIRO (Reuters) - A Libyan rebel, wearing a flamboyant military peaked hat that he said he had seized from Muammar Gaddafi's bedroom in his Tripoli compound, said he planned to give the trophy to his father.

Speaking to Britain's Sky News, the bearded fighter identified only as al-Windy, was among the fighters who stormed Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Tuesday, seizing weapons and trophies.

"I just went inside his room, Gaddafi's bedroom, and I was really, I was like 'Oh my God'. I am in Gaddafi's room. Oh my God. Then this thing happened. I found this, oh my goodness," the rebel said, taking the red and grey hat embroidered with gold thread off his head.

"I am going to give this to my dad as a present because he has suffered a lot from Gaddafi and from Gaddafi followers," the rebel, who also wore a huge gold chain over his drab olive-green T-shirt and carried what looked like a ceremonial mace.

Gaddafi, reputed for his eccentricities, was once crowned Africa's "king of kings" by those from south of the Sahara.

The fighter said he had fought with rebels in the Western Mountains region before they advanced on Tripoli and overran Gaddafi's main stronghold early this week.

Pro-Gaddafi forces initially tried to defend the vast Bab al-Aziziya compound, the seat of Gaddafi's political power and the principal base of loyalists seeking to rescue his 42-year rule, but their resistance later faded, the reporters said.

"I am really proud for this moment that the Libyans have waited for 42 years," al-Windy said.