UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Gaddafi's son says Tripoli under govt. control

RIA Novosti

05:49 23/08/2011 CAIRO, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - The son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, whom the rebels had said they had arrested, appeared on TV screens on Tuesday accompanied by his supporters near the Bab al Aziziyah compound.

Al Arabya television aired footage with Gaddafi's heir apparent assuring reporters that the situation in Tripoli was under control of government forces and offering them a trip around the city, which had been reportedly overrun by the rebels.

"We will visit the alleged 'hot spots' and you will see with your own eyes that everything is quiet there," he tells the journalists in the clip.

"I am here to disperse the rumors...Our people has broken the backbone of these rebels, these gangs," he says.

The rebels claimed on Sunday they had captured Saif al-Islam, along with other members of Gaddafi's family.

The sudden appearance of Gaddafi's son in public questions the reliability of reports coming from Libya.

Even the Arabic mass media sources admit that the video footage from Tripoli is hard to come by, which makes the unbiased assessment of the situation in the Libyan capital impossible.

Rebels by now have taken control of much of Tripoli. Colonel Gaddafi's whereabouts are unknown, although he is not thought to have fled the country.

When asked if his father was safe and in Tripoli, Saif al-Islam replied: "Of course."

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list