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      Where is the ‘Practical but Eccentric Qaddafi?'

      As rebels continue to take over Qaddafi’s last bastion, Tripoli, South Africa denies he fled there. He may be hiding deep underground.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 8/22/2011, 1:05 PM

      As rebels continue to take over Muammar Qaddafi’s last bastion in Tripoli, South Africa denies he fled there, and he may be hiding deep underground.

      Video: Libyans celbrate in Tripoli:

      Qaddafi is known to be as practical as he is eccentric. His close associates said last week that he is supposedly suffering from an illness that cannot be cured in Libya, leading to speculation he would have an "honorable" reason to flee, possibly to Tunisia, Chad or Venezuela.

      However, the unexpected speed with which rebels have so far proved triumphant in Tripoli may have surprised Qaddafi, and he may be holding out in one of his bomb-proof underground canyons.

      He has not been seen in public but still is broadcasting audio appeals to Tripoli residents to fight off the rebels.

      Two of his sons have been arrested, and one of the best reasons explaining why Qaddafi may not have fled is that he does not want to leave behind his vast wealth.

      South African Foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane denied on Monday that South Africa had sent an airplane to Libya to help Qaddafi escape.

      Another possibly destiny for Qaddafi, if he gets out of Libya alive, is Algeria, which has been accused of arming his regime.

      Most of the tanks at Qaddafi’s compound have fallen into rebel hands or have been destroyed by NATO, but rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril said, "The fight is not over yet.”

      A Tripoli resident whose home is next to Qaddafi’s compound, known as Bab al-Aziziya, told the Associated Press, "When I climb the stairs and look at it from the roof, I see nothing at Bab al-Aziziya. NATO has demolished it all and nothing remains."