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Qaddafi Surrounded?

Libya's rebel fighters claim they have fugitive strongman Muammar Qaddafi surrounded.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 8/25/2011, 7:58 PM

Rebel fighters in Tripoli claim they have Muammar Qaddafi surrounded in an apartment building near his former compound.

"They are together. They are in a small hole, "one fighter on the scene told Reuters, referring to Qaddafi and his sons.

"Today we finish. Today we will end that," he added.

But CBS News's Barry Petersen stressed "rebels say they may have Qaddafi surrounded in apartment complex, but situation dangerous, fluid."

"CNN has not been able to independently confirm the rebels' claim. Rebels have made many bold statements in recent days, some of which haven't turned out to be true," the news outlet reported.

News agencies are taking rebel claims about capturing major government figures with a grain of salt after the fiasco in which rebels claimed to have captured Qaddafi heir Saif al-Islam early in the battle for Tripoli - only to have him arrive for the cameras in a limousine to taunt the rebels and insist his father would triumph in the end.

A Qaddafi spokesman told the Associated Press Qaddafi was "on the move."

Qaddafi's compound was reported to have a labyrinth of tunnels underneath leading to points all over Tripoli, meaning he could be anywhere at this point - even outside the city.

Meanwhile, Qaddafi was heard on the Al-Achba channel calling on all Libyan tribes to return to the the fight and head toward Tripoli. In the recorded message, Qaddafi said he and his men would not give up.

Qaddafi added, "Free Tripoli."  He also said, "Libya belongs only to Libyans and not to collaborators, not to France, not to Italy." He said his supporters were the majority and there would not be any safe havens for the rebels.