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Gadhafi sons vow to fight, negotiate

Libyans peers into an underground tunnel at inside of Baba al Azizia, Moammar Gaddafi's main military compound on August 26, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya. The main compound has turned into a tourist attraction and a symbol of Gaddafi's ousted regime. Numbers of Libyans are gathering to celebrate his downfall and to tour the compound which up until August 23, 2011 has been hidden from public view until the recent surge into Tripoli by rebel forces. UPI/Tarek Elframawy
Libyans peers into an underground tunnel at inside of Baba al Azizia, Moammar Gaddafi's main military compound on August 26, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya. The main compound has turned into a tourist attraction and a symbol of Gaddafi's ousted regime. Numbers of Libyans are gathering to celebrate his downfall and to tour the compound which up until August 23, 2011 has been hidden from public view until the recent surge into Tripoli by rebel forces. UPI/Tarek Elframawy | License Photo

TRIPOLI, Libya, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Moammar Gadhafi's crumbling regime Wednesday rejected calls from Libyan rebels to lay down its arms.

One of Gadhafi's sons, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, said in a television message his fugitive father was alive and well and that the fighting would continue.

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Saif's statement on al-Ray TV came shortly after his brother, Saadi, issued a statement saying he was authorized to negotiate an end to the fighting with the Transitional National Council, the BBC said.

Saif said he was on the outskirts of Tripoli. The whereabouts of his father were unclear, although rebel leaders told The New York Times he was believed to be cornered in Bani Walid, a desert town about 150 miles from the capital.

"We are waiting to give him a chance to surrender," Abdul Hafith Ghoga, the deputy chairman of the rebels' council, told the Times by telephone.

The council has given loyalist troops until Saturday to surrender, though it was unclear Wednesday if their holdout would indeed end.

Rebel forces backed by NATO warplanes were also converging on Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte. The coastal city of about 100,000 people lies roughly in the center of the Libyan coastline, which The Washington Post noted effectively divides the rebel-controlled eastern and western halves of the country.

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