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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Report: Gadhafi Family Flees to Algeria

August 29, 2011

VOA News

Algerian media report that members of Moammar Gadhafi's family entered Algeria Monday, as Libyan rebels continued to search for the embattled former leader.

The Algerian Press Service quotes the foreign ministry as saying that Mr. Gadhafi's wife, daughter, two of his sons and their children arrived in Algeria early Monday after crossing the Libyan border.

Battle for Sirte

In Libya, rebel forces are drawing closer to Mr. Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte after seizing control of the country's capital.

Rebel commanders in Misrata say opposition forces pushing toward Sirte from the west on Monday moved within 30 kilometers of the coastal city, which is located 450 kilometers east of Tripoli.

A rebel spokesman Sunday said anti-government forces will seize Sirte by force if negotiations with tribal leaders for its surrender fail.

Mr. Gadhafi has not been seen since rebel fighters seized Tripoli, and the Sirte region is considered one area where he may have gone into hiding.

The head of the opposition Transitional National Council, Mustafa Jalil, said Monday that Mr. Gadhafi still poses a threat to Libya and the world. Jalil also called for the continued support of NATO, which has been carrying out airstrikes against pro-Gadhafi forces since March under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians. His comments came as defense officials from countries involved militarily in Libya met in Qatar.

NATO meets in Paris

Leaders from countries backing NATO operations over Libya are meeting in Paris Thursday to discuss ways to help Libyans now that the opposition has control of the capital. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is among those who will attend the talks.

France said it dispatched a team to Tripoli Monday to reopen its embassy after closing it for six months as rebels fought for control of the country.

The International Organization for Migration said Monday its ship evacuated about 850 stranded migrants and displaced Libyans from Tripoli one day earlier.

A Red Cross ship entered Tripoli harbor Sunday carrying supplies for the city, which saw days of fighting between rebels and Gadhafi supporters last week.

Rebel-held Tripoli short on supplies

A VOA correspondent reported that the capital has widespread shortages of medicine, drinking water and other basic supplies. And many areas are still without electricity.

Human Rights Watch said Sunday that pro-Gadhafi forces committed possible war crimes as rebels moved into the Libyan capital last week. They say researchers have documented more than 110 corpses in four locations in Tripoli. Many of them appear to have been killed execution-style either while in detention or with their hands bound.

A metal warehouse in a compound controlled until last week by Libya's elite Khamis Brigade contains about 50 scorched skeletons.

A VOA correspondent who visited the structure said another eight bodies lie outside, one with his hands tied behind his back. A survivor said that as rebel forces approached, loyalist soldiers shot their prisoners, then tried to burn the bodies.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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