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Libya

Kadhafi's wife and children flee to Algeria

Sаfiya Gaddafi, wife of the Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi with her children in Tripoli in 1986
Sаfiya Gaddafi, wife of the Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi with her children in Tripoli in 1986 Reuters/Kate Dourian
2 min

The wife of embattled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's and three of his children fled to Algeria on Monday as rebels closed in on his hometown of Sirte. Algiers confirmed that Kadhafi's wife Safiya, two sons, a daughter and their children, had crossed the border into the country.

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The move has prompted the rebel National Transitional Council to demand their return.

The ANSA Italian news agency is reporting that Kadhafi and his sons Saadi and Seif al-Islam are holed-up in the town of Bani Walid, south of the capital Tripoli.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

The Algerian Foreign ministry says that UN chief Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council and
senior Libyan rebel leader Mahmud Jibril had been informed of the arrival of the family members into the country.

So far Algeria has not recognised the NTC and has adopted a stance of strict neutrality on the Libyan conflict, leading some among the rebels to accuse it of supporting the Kadhafi regime.

Rebel spokesman Mahmud Shammam said Algeria had given them "a pass" to enter a third country, adding that the rebel leadership wanted them back in Libya.

Meanwhile there are reports that Kadhafi's youngest son Khamis, whose death has been announced several times since Libya's conflict erupted but never confirmed, may have been killed south of Tripoli and buried on Monday.

And on Monday, the rebels are reported to have seized the desert hamlet of Nofilia just inland from the coastal road east of Sirte, while a reconnaissance force pressed on to within 70 kilometres of the town, a rebel commander told the French news agency.

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