09/12/2011, 00.00
LIBYA
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Gaddafi’s “footballing” son, Saadi, takes refuge in Niger

Niamey gave permission "for humanitarian reasons." The whereabouts of the Colonel and two other sons, Saif al-Islam and Mutassim, engaged in the war unknown. Fighting continues in Bani Walid, as NTC forces approach Sirte.
Tripoli (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Saadi Gaddafi, the "football -player", is today in Niger. The announcement was made by Justice Minister of Niger, who said that the son of Rais has been identified among the passengers of a convoy in the capital of Niger, Niamey. In recent days there had been a rumor that Colonel Gaddafi was passing through Niger, headed towards Burkina Faso, a country willing to offer hospitality (06/09/2011 Libya: Bani Walid surrenders. Gaddafi maybe in Niger). Gaddafi denied the rumour, and announced that he will die in Libya. His whereabouts and that of his two sons active in the war: Saif al-Islam, 39, considered the successor of his father, and Mutassim, 36 years, National Security Adviser are still unkown.

The fighting continues between rebels and loyalist forces. In Bani Walid, one of the last loyalist strongholds, fierce fighting is in progress in several areas, backed by NATO air raids, although it seems that the final offensive has not yet begun: the National Transitional Council (NTC) has left commanders on the ground to decide on the timing and mode of operations. The NTC fighters meanwhile continue their march towards to Sirte, which is about 60 km. Sirte is the Gaddafi hometown. Thousands of men, with about 200 equipped light artillery, are moving from Misurata.

Gaddafi's four other children: Muhammad, Hannibal, Aisha, and Sofia are refugees in Algeria. The spokesman for the Justice Minister of Niger, Marou Amadou, said Saadi has been allowed to enter the country "for humanitarian reasons." Niger has recognized the authority of the NTC, but did not make clear whether Gaddafi will be allowed to enter. Meanwhile yesterday, Mahmoud Jibril, Prime Minister of the Libyan National Transitional Council announced that within "a week or ten days" a new government, more inclusive, will be formed with representatives of different regions of Libya.

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