Thursday, September 1, 2011
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi is in a desert town outside Tripoli planning a fightback, a Libyan military chief said on Thursday, as Libya’s interim rulers conferred with world powers on reshaping a nation torn by 42 years of one-man rule and six months of war.
Abdel Majid Mlegta, coordinator of the Tripoli military operations room, told Reuters “someone we trust” had said Gaddafi fled to Bani Walid, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of the capital, with his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi three days after Tripoli fell last week.
“They wanted to set up an operations room there and conduct aggressive operations against us,” he said. “We have talked to notables from Bani Walid to arrest him and hand him over. They haven’t responded. We are assessing our position.”
Mlegta said Ali al-Ahwal, Gaddafi’s coordinator for tribes, was also in Bani Walid, a stronghold of the powerful Warfalla tribe, Libya’s biggest at about a million strong among a population of six million, but by no means solidly pro-Gaddafi.
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