Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Hunt For Khadafi Continues

The hunt for Mumar Khadafi continues, and there are numerous reports indicating that rebel groups just missed capturing him at a safe house in Tripoli.
Libyan commandos fighting Muammar Gaddafi came close to capturing the toppled leader on Wednesday when they raided a private home in Tripoli where he appeared to have been hiding, Paris Match magazine said on Thursday.

Citing a source in a unit which it said was coordinating among intelligence services from Arab states and Libyan rebels, the French weekly said on its website that these services believed Gaddafi was still somewhere in the Libyan capital.

Gaddafi was gone from the unassuming safe house in central Tripoli when agents arrived about 10 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT) on Wednesday after a tip-off from a credible source. But, the magazine said, they found evidence that he had spent at least one night there -- though it did not say how recently that was.
CNN is reporting that the rebels think that he may be holed up in a cluster of buildings near his Tripoli compound that fell to rebels earlier in the week. I'm not so sure.

While some people might think to track down his all-girl bodyguard brigade, I think rebels will likely look for him in and around his hometown of Sirte.

Regardless of Khadafi's whereabouts, Tripoli is not fully in rebel hands, and there are pockets of resistance elsewhere in the country even as rebels celebrate their new-found freedom:

The head of the Libyan rebels is calling on international assistance to help stabilize the country, including releasing funds frozen by Western countries as a means of pressuring Khadafi to step aside:
Mahmoud Jibril spoke after meeting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who said Rome had begun unfreezing 350 million euros ($504.3 million) of Libyan funds in Italian banks to help the rebel movement govern Libya.

Berlusconi said the unfreezing marked a first step in a broader effort to unblock all of the North African country's assets in Italy, the former colonial power.

Italy, once Libya's closest ally in the West, froze around $8 billion of Libyan assets as part of sanctions against Muammar Gaddafi, whose 42 years in power appeared at an end this week.

"The biggest destabilising element would be the failure of the (rebel) National Transitional Council to deliver the necessary services and pay the salaries of the people who have not been paid for months," Jibril told a news conference in Milan. "Our priorities cannot be carried out by the government without having the necessary money immediately."

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