Thursday, 1 September 2011

Fight goes on, Seif al-Islam; ready to surrender, Saadi

 Updated at: 0803 PST, Thursday, September 01, 2011
Fight goes on, Seif al-Islam; ready to surrender, Saadi TRIPOLI: Fallen dictator Moamer Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam said on Wednesday that he was still in Tripoli and that the fight against rebels who captured the capital last week would go on.

Denting the festive mood as Libyans celebrated their first end of Ramadan feast in 42 years free of Kadhafi's yoke, Seif al-Islam said his father was fine and was still fighting.

But his message of defiance, aired just hours before world powers were to open a major conference on Libya in Paris, came as another Kadhafi son, Saadi, expressed readiness to surrender and the rebels announced the capture of Kadhafi's foreign minister Abdelati al-Obeidi.

"We are fine. The leadership is fine and the leader is fine," Seif al-Islam told the Damascus-based Al-Rai television station in an audio message. "We are happy, we are drinking coffee and tea with our companions and we are fighting. "I am talking to you from a suburb of Tripoli. We want to reassure the Libyan people that we are still here. The resistance continues and victory is near."

Seif al-Islam warned the rebels against any attack on his father's hometown of Sirte, the last major centre in loyalist hands.

"They're welcome if they think the battle of Sirte will be a walkover. Twenty thousand armed men are in the town and ready" to fight, he told Al-Rai.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chief of the rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC), said in an interview published on Wednesday by Egypt's state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper he wanted Kadhafi arrested alive so he could face justice.

But Harati did confirm that negotiations had been opened on the surrender of another, much less powerful Kadhafi son, Saadi.

There were "negotiations with Saadi until yesterday at 2000 GMT," he said. "He is reluctant but, if he wants to surrender, his life will be safe, God willing. If there is an agreement, there will be no problems."

Earlier, Saadi Kadhafi told the Al-Arabiya channel in an audio interview that he had "no problem" with the rebels ruling Libya. "We have no problem if they are in power, the rebels are our brothers," he said. "If my surrender stops the spilling of blood, I am ready to give myself up tonight."

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