Tripoli, Aug 23 : Tripoli is “under control” of the regime, a son of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi claimed early today, after rebels said they had taken most of the capital and gunfire rattled the port city. Seif al-Islam, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, met with an AFP correspondent and two other journalists, just hours after ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said rebel forces had arrested him.
“Tripoli is under our control. Everyone should rest assured. All is well in Tripoli,” the defiant son of the Libyan strongman told the three journalists at a vacant lot outside his father's Bab al-Azizya compound in Tripoli in the very early hours of today.
“You have seen how the Libyan people rose up” to fight the rebels who arrived in Tripoli, he said, referring to battles in the capital between Gaddafi loyalists and rebel forces.
“The West has high-tech technology which disrupted telecommunications systems and sent messages to the people,” declaring the fall of the regime, he said about text phone messages sent Sunday to the residents of Tripoli. “This is a technological and media war to cause chaos and terror in Libya,” he added.
Seif al-Islam claimed the rebels had suffered “heavy casualties” yesterday when they stormed Gaddafi's compound. “I am here to refute the lies,” he said about reports of his arrest.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Gaddafi, the strongman's eldest son who also had been reported arrested, had escaped, the Libyan ambassador to Washington told CNN. But the Libyan leader's whereabouts remained unknown. (AFP)