Gaddafi regime spokesman captured as he fled Sirte 'dressed as a woman'


Lewis Smith
Friday 30 September 2011 00:00

Moussa Ibrahim, mouthpiece for Muammar Gaddafi, has been captured by rebel forces while driving close to the city of Sirte, according to military commanders.

Mr Ibrahim became the voice of the Gaddafi regime, lecturing and haranguing foreign media at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, as rebel forces challenged the regime's authority and advanced on the capital.

He continued making pronouncements even after he fled the approach of the rebel forces, and earlier this month put out a broadcast in which he proclaimed: "We have decided to either win or to be martyred with courage, like our brothers, sons, women and children. We will continue with this struggle until we are victorious."

Commanders from the National Transitional Council said fighters from Misrata found him in a car close to Sirte, Gaddafi's birthplace, and seized him. Initial and unconfirmed reports even suggested he was captured while disguised as a woman.

Mustafa bin Dardef of the Transitional National Council's Zintan Brigade said: "Misrata fighters contacted us and gave us the information that Moussa Ibrahim has been captured," said. Mohammed al-Marimi, another commander, confirmed Ibahim had been taken prisoner: "Moussa Ibrahim was captured while driving outside Sirte by fighters from Misrata." The capture came as rebel forces attacking Sirte managed amid fierce fighting to take control of the city's airport.

Only a week ago Ibrahim was quoted by Damascus based Al-Rai television calling on fighters still loyal to Gaddafi to continue resisting the rebel troops. He denounced the rebels as traitors and accused Nato of using its weaponry to commit genocide.

Earlier yesterday, an arrest warrant was issued by Interpol for one of Gaddafi's sons, Saadi. He is wanted on suspicion of "misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation" when he was head of the Libyan Football Federation.

Brigi Rafini, Prime Minister of Niger, confirmedSaadi was in the country and was in the hands of the government but, citing concerns of a fair trial, he insisted: "There's no question of him being extradited for the moment."

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