x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Cousin of Libya's Qaddafi arrested following Cairo siege

Egyptian security forces arrested a close aide and a cousin of Libya's former dictator Muammar Qaddafi yesterday following an hours-long siege of his home in central Cairo.

CAIRO // Egyptian security forces arrested a close aide and a cousin of Libya's former dictator Muammar Qaddafi yesterday following an hours-long siege of his home in central Cairo.

Qaddafi's former intelligence official Ahmed Ahmed Qaddaf Al Dam, who is among dozens wanted for their role in Libya's 2011 civil war, surrendered to Egyptian security forces, a security official and witnesses said.

Police surrounded his home in the Cairo neighbourhood of Zamalek before dawn. Shots were fired during the siege, but witnesses gave conflicting reports as to whether Mr Al Dam opened fire in the air to drive police away or police had fired the shots as they tried to storm the building.

There were no injuries reported.

The official said that Mr Al Dam will be handed over to Interpol to be transferred to Libya.

Last year, Libya's general prosecutor made a request to Egypt to hand over 40 Libyans affiliated with Qaddafi's regime suspected of committing offences during the eight-month civil war.

In addition to Mr Al Dam, the list included the former foreign minister Ali Al Treki and military intelligence chief Bouzeid Al Jabou.

During the siege, Mr Al Dam said in a phone call to a private television channel that he had been invited to Cairo by the military council that took over after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. He described security forces as "a gang".

"We came here with an invitation from the foreign ministry and the military council ... We are not terrorists to be ambushed like this," he said. "We will defend our house until the end."

Mubarak, who like Qaddafi was ousted by a 2011 Arab Spring uprising, had close ties to the Libyan dictator. Human rights groups said Cairo allowed Libyan intelligence to kidnap the anti-Gadhafi opposition, notably dissident Mansour Kikhia who disappeared in 1993. Kikhia was said to have later been killed. His remains were located in a house in Tripoli in September.