Fighters encircle Gaddafi son's presumed refuge: NTC

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 23, 2011 10:18 AM
Fighters encircle Gaddafi son's presumed refuge: NTC

LONDON (Reuters) - Libyan revolutionary fighters are surrounding an area where a fugitive son of Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, is believed to have taken refuge, a military commander of the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) said on Sunday.

The commander, Abdel Majid Mlegta, told Reuters fighters were deploying around a place south of the town of Bani Walid where they believed Saif al-Islam was hiding following his flight from his father's hometown of Sirte on Thursday.

Bani Walid, 150 km (100 miles) southwest of Tripoli, fell to NTC forces earlier this month after putting up determined resistance for several weeks. Saif al-Islam was widely reputed to have been based in the town during its resistance, before moving to Sirte.

Mlegta said Gaddafi's Niger-based security chief Abdullah al-Senussi had been in contact with Saif al-Islam to try to help him escape and flee to the Sahelian country "but our brigades are encircling this area south of Bani Walid."

Mlegta added without elaborating that NTC fighters had searched offices recently used by Saif al-Islam and had found material indicating that he had been researching areas south of Bani Walid include places called Wadi Zam Zam and Wadi al-Mandoum.

(Reporting by Samia Nakhoul; Editing by William Maclean and Myra MacDonald)