TRIPOLI // The son of the slain Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was reportedly killed in fighting in the former pro-Qaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, while contradictory reports emerged over the capture of Qaddafi's spokesman.
Khamis Qaddafi died of injuries sustained in clashes with troops who had moved into Bani Walid, about 140 kilometres southeast of Tripoli, over the past few days, Omar Hamidan, the spokesman for the National Congress, was cited as saying by the Libya News Agency. Libyan state media have yet to provide visual proof of the death of the younger Qaddafi, whose death has been reported several times before.
The capture of Moussa Ibrahim, who had served as the mouthpiece for the former regime during last year's uprising, was reported in a statement emailed late yesterday by Mohamed Saleh Alsabee, a spokesman for the prime minister. An audio recording of a man claiming to be Ibrahim was posted on his Facebook page, denying the report and saying he wasn't in the country. The recording couldn't be independently verified.
The fighting in Bani Walid comes on the first anniversary of the capture and death of the Libyan strongman who was pushed from power in a bloody, eight-month uprising. A year after Qaddafi was seized and later killed, the government is struggling to maintain order.
The fighting in Bani Walid has already left 22 soldiers dead and more than 200 people wounded, LNA reported, citing officials in Misrata's main hospital. Troops backed by militias from the cities of Misrata and Zintan had moved into the town in a bid to arrest individuals wanted in connection with the torture and subsequent death of a former rebel from Misrata, who was among those who captured Qaddafi last year.