Gaddafi 'hiding near border with Algeria'


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The Independent Online

Muammar Gaddafi may be hiding in a desert town near the Algerian border under the protection of Tuareg tribesman, Libya's new rulers said yesterday.

As fighters loyal to Colonel Gaddafi continue to fend off assaults on his home town from National Transitional Council (NTC) forces, the ousted former leader remains on the run, pledging to lead a campaign of armed resistance against the new Western-backed leaders.

A senior NTC military official has said that Colonel Gaddafi may be holed-up near the western town of Ghadames, close to the Algerian border. "There has been a fight between Tuareg tribesmen who are loyal to Gaddafi and Arabs living there [in the south]. We are negotiating. The Gaddafi search is taking a different course," Hisham Buhagiar told Reuters, without elaborating.

Many Tuaregs, nomads who roam the desert spanning the borders of Libya and its neighbours, have backed Colonel Gaddafi since he supported their rebellions against the governments of Mali and Niger in the 1970s.