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The Battle for Tripoli: Qaddafi's Son Captured

Rebels report they have captured Muammar Qaddafi's son, Saif Al Islam, as they continue to close in on Tripoli.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/22/2011, 12:59 AM

The rebels in Libya have captured Muammar Qaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam, during their strategic advance on Tripoli, the Al-Arabiya network is reporting.

According to the report, rebel National Transitional Council head Mustafa Abdul Jalil has confirmed Saif Al Islam’s capture, saying, “We have confirmed information that our guys have captured Saif Al Islam.”

“We have given instructions to treat him well so that he can face trial,” Abdul Jalil added.

In an interview he gave to Al Arabiya TV earlier on Sunday, Abdul Jalil said that if rebels were to capture Saif Al Islam they would treat him in accordance to international conventions and allow him to be tried freely and fairly in a civil court.

“We will be dealing with them like any other prisoners [in Libya] according to international conventions, and we will give them a fair trial, much like former Presidents who are now being tried in civil courts,” Abdul Jalil told the network.

The reports about Saif Al Islam’s capture come after earlier on Sunday it was reported that Libya’s rebels claimed they had launched a daring mission to penetrate the capital, which until Saturday night had been considered Muammar Qaddafi’s last stronghold.

An advance party “from Misrata reached Tripoli this dawn by sea and joined the Tripoli rebels,” said Abdullah Melitan, a spokesman for the rebels.

Also on Sunday it was reported that Qaddafi’s government called for an immediate cease-fire between government loyalists and opposition forces.

But Qaddafi himself did not seem to be interested in a cease-fire, instead saying he would stay in Tripoli “until the end.”

In an audio message broadcast on Libyan state television, Qaddafi called on his supporters around the country to help liberate the capital from a rebel offensive.

“The time is now to fight for your politics, your oil, your land,” Al-Arabiya quoted Qaddafi as having said. “I am with you in Tripoli - together until the ends of the earth.”

Qaddafi added that he was “afraid that Tripoli will burn” and said he would provide weapons to supporters to fight off the rebels.

Click here for an Arutz Sheva analysis on Qaddafi’s exit strategy.