Rebels fight for Tripoli as Gaddafi disappears

Kasmira Jefford
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REMNANTS of forces still loyal to Muammar Gaddafi staged a desperate stand in Tripoli last night as rebels surged through the streets of the capital, but the whereabouts of the Libyan leader were a mystery.

World leaders urged Gaddafi to surrender to prevent more bloodshed and appealed for an orderly transition of power, as the dictator’s 42-year rule over the North African oil-producing nation appeared to nearing the end.

Confusion reigned last night after claims that rebels had captured three of Gaddafi’s sons, including his heir apparent Saif al-Islam, proved false following claims that he appeared at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli to chat with reporters early this morning.

Al-Jazeera TV earlier reported that one of the sons, Mohammed, had escaped, adding that the body of another son, military commander Khamis, might have been found along with that of an intelligence chief.

While Nato warplanes bombed Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound again last night, it was not clear whether the dictator was still in the Libyan capital.

In his last audio broadcast on Sunday before state TV went off the air, Gaddafi said he would stay in Tripoli “until the end”.