Gadhafi still elusive

Oct. 17, 2011 at 1:02 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Two months after the fall of Tripoli, the transitional council says there's little credible information on the location of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Abdul Rahman Bussin, a military spokesman for the National Transitional Council, said there's an "80 percent-to-90 percent chance" Gadhafi is in southern Libya, being protected by the nomadic Tuareg tribe, USA Today reported Monday.

Mousa al-Koni, a representative for the Tuaregs, denied the allegation, suggesting the ousted leader and members of his family may be hiding in the isolated region along the common borders of Libya, Algeria and Niger.

Others have suggested Gadhafi could have fled to a friendly government in Africa or elsewhere, such as Venezuela, where Gadhafi has a relationship with President Hugo Chavez, or Saudi Arabia, which has a history of hosting ousted leaders.

Most Libyans, however, say they think Gadhafi remains in the country, observers told USA Today.

"Gadhafi would … want to rely on trusted networks of tribal and ethnic support for movement and concealment, something which would get harder if he crossed any of the land borders," said Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank based in London.

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