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Libyan Rebels Storm Gaddafi's Tripoli Compound

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GADDAFI COMPOUND SEIZED
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TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Libyan rebels stormed Moammar Gadhafi's main military compound in Tripoli Tuesday after fierce fighting with forces loyal to his regime that rocked the capital as the longtime leader refused to surrender despite the stunning advances by opposition forces. (Scroll down for photos and live updates)

Fighters poured into the area by the hundreds, carting off boxes of ammunition and firing weapons in the air in celebration. Several young men placed a head seized from a statue of Gadhafi under their feet and kicked it. One happily lifted it above his head while his comrades danced and yelled joyfully around him.

There was heavy fighting before the rebels broke through the green gates of the compound and shooting broke out from other parts of the large, sprawling complex. The body of a slain Gadhafi fighter with a gaping head wound was sprawled on the floor of one of two tents that had been used for pro-regime protests. The other tent was partially on fire.

Despite the euphoria, Gadhafi's whereabouts remained unknown.

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Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Russian head of the World Chess Federation who has known Gadhafi for year, said he spoke Tuesday by telephone with the Libyan leader who told him that he was "alive and well and still in Tripoli." The report couldn't be independently confirmed.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday that it was clear the rebels were winning "important successes ... but this is not yet an ordered or secure situation."

"They have fought their way to the gates of Gadhafi's compound, that is a historic achievement," Hague told Britain's Sky News. "It's not over yet, but we are in the death throes of a despicable regime."

The heavily fortified complex, which has been heavily damaged by NATO airstrikes for five of the six months since the anti-regime uprising began, is the most defining symbol of Gadhafi's nearly 42-year rule and its occupation, a day after the rebels swept into the Libyan capital with stunning speed, comes as the opposition faced pockets of resistance and fighting rocked the capital.

Ayman Coumi, 21, joined a crowd walking out with boxes of weapons and ammunition; others drove out with trucks mounted with anti-aircraft weapons.

Other rebels swarmed around Gadhafi's former residence, which had been hit by a 1986 U.S. airstrike in retaliation for a bombing attack on a German disco in which two U.S. servicemen were killed. One man climbed onto a sculpture of a clenched fist crushing a U.S. fighter jet that had been erected after the strike.

Wael Abu Khris, 35, a shipping agent turned rebel fighter from Tripoli, was walking around the compound after the battle, carrying his Kalashnikov.

"I feel great satisfaction. We are at least free of this dictator. Libya is free at last. No more Gadhafi! It is time for a new Libya that will shine and go forth."

Abdel-Aziz Shafiya, 19, walked down one of the main roads of the compound with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other. The teenager, who is from the embattled city of Misrata, said he felt "an explosion of joy inside."

"I lost friends and relatives and now I can walk into Gadhafi's house," he said. "Many of my friends have died and now all of that meant something."

It was not immediately clear whether Gadhafi or members of his immediate family were in the compound when it was breached, but the ferocity of the battle led many to speculate that the maverick leader may have been inside.

Gadhafi's former right-hand man Abdel-Salam Jalloud, who defected earlier this month, told Al-Jazeera television that he thought the Libyan leader was moving around the outskirts of Tripoli, taking shelter at private homes, small hotels and mosques. Jalloud defected this month.

The battle for Bab al-Azizya, in which mortars, heavy machine-guns and anti-aircraft guns were used, came hours after Gadhafi's son and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, made a dramatic appearance in Tripoli as a free man, thwarting Libyan rebel claims he had been captured and rallying supporters.

His surprise appearance underlined the potential for Gadhafi to strike back even as his grip on power seemed to be slipping fast.

The fighting began hours after Seif al-Islam, with a full beard and wearing an olive-green T-shirt and camouflage trousers, took a group of foreign journalists Bab al-Aziziya as part of a tour aimed at showing the regime still has support. At least a hundred men were waiting in lines for guns being distributed to volunteers to defend the regime. Seif al-Islam shook hands with supporters, beaming and flashing the "V" for victory sign.

"We are here. This is our country. This is our people, and we live here, and we die here," he told AP Television News. "And we are going to win, because the people are with us. That's why were are going to win. Look at them - look at them, in the streets, everywhere!"

It was not clear whether Gadhafi's son, who turned up at the Rixos hotel, where about 30 foreign journalists have been staying under the close watch of regime minders, had escaped from rebel custody or never been captured in the first place.

His arrest had been announced on Monday by both the rebels and the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court, which has indicted him and his father. ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah said the court never received official confirmation from Libya's rebel authorities about the arrest.

The rebel leadership - which had said Seif al-Islam was captured without giving details on where he was held - seemed stunned. A rebel spokesman, Sadeq al-Kabir, had no explanation and could only say, "This could be all lies."

He also said another captured Gadhafi son, Mohammed, had escaped house arrest. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the rebel National Transitional Council, announced the detention of a third Gadhafi son, al-Saadi, on Monday.

Riding in a white limousine amid a convoy of armored SUVs, Seif al-Islam took reporters on a drive through parts of the city still under the regime's control, including Bab al-Aziziya, saying, "We are going to hit the hottest spots in Tripoli." AP reporters were among the journalists who saw him and went on the tour.

The tour also covered the district around the Rixos hotel and streets full of armed Gadhafi backers, controlled by roadblocks, and into the Gadhafi stronghold neighborhood Bu Slim.

When asked about the ICC's claim that he was arrested by rebels, he told reporters: "The ICC can go to hell," and added "We are going to break the backbone of the rebels."

Rebels said Monday that they controlled most of Tripoli, but they faced pockets of fierce resistance from regime loyalists firing mortars and anti-aircraft guns. Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, who was in Tripoli, said the "danger is still there" as long as the longtime Libyan leader remains on the run.

He warned that pro-Gadhafi brigades are positioned on Tripoli's outskirts and could "be in the middle of the city in half an hour."

An hourlong battle also erupted close to the Rixos Hotel on Tuesday morning, according to AP reporters staying there. The hotel and the area around it are under tight regime control, with scores of heavily armed soldiers stationed just outside it.

A new bout of fighting around the Rixos took place in the afternoon, with the AP reporters saying the sound of explosions and heavy machine-gun fire was much closer than during the morning fighting. A few stray bullets hit the hotel, they said.

It was not immediately clear whether the rebel attack was aimed at capturing the hotel.

The rebels have claimed control of much of the rest of the country outside Tripoli, and the city of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown to the east of Tripoli, was the most important loyalist bastion to remain fully under his control.

Gadhafi's forces fired off a short-range Scud missile Monday near Sirte - the second one fired during the six-month civil war. On Aug. 15, Libyan government forces launched one near Sirte that landed in the desert outside Brega, injuring no one.

A representative from Sirte on the rebels' National Transitional Council told the AP on Tuesday that the situation in the city was extremely volatile because Gadhafi brigades had retreated to the city after fleeing the Brega oil terminal.

"There is no power in Sirte, we are getting in touch with the people inside only through satellite phones," Hassan al-Daroui told the Associated Press in Benghazi.

He said that many people in Sirte had not even heard about the rebel advance into Tripoli and residents had told him that there were heavily guarded checkpoints all over the city and people were too scared to leave their homes.

"We are worried that Gadhafi wants to just kill as many people as he can before his demise," al-Daroui said. "He knows he is finished, now he wants to bring Sirte down with him."

Farther east from Tripoli, the rebels reported territorial gains at the expense of the regime forces. Mohammed al-Rijail, a rebel spokesman in Benghazi, said rebel fighters have advanced to al-Aqaila, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the oil port city of Ras Lanouf.

"There was no resistance and no fighting as Gadhafi forces retreated to Ras Lanouf," he said.

The International Organization for Migration, meanwhile, said that a rescue mission to pluck 300 foreign nationals from the Libyan capital has been delayed by fighting. The Geneva-based group says an IOM-chartered ship will remain off the coast of Tripoli "until security conditions have improved and the safety of staff and migrants can be guaranteed."

___

Associated Press writers Rami al-Shaheibi in Benghazi, Maggie Michael in Cairo and Mike Corder at The Hague, Netherlands, contributed to this report.

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Al Jazeera has exclusive video of Libyan rebels ambushing Gaddafi loyalists at a checkpoint. According to the news outlet, "this Al Jazeera Exclusive footage gives an inside view of the struggle as the fighters push towards Sirte, the last stronghold of Gaddafi."

Video below (via Al Jazeera):

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CNN reports:

Muneer Masoud Own, 33, who made a living doing manual labor, said forces loyal to longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi slaughtered nearly 150 prisoners as rebels closed in on Tripoli last week.

Charred bodies littered the ground around a warehouse -- roughly 30 feet by 45 feet -- where the detainees were kept. A volunteer who helped remove them, Bashir Own, estimated that he had seen about 150 bodies. He is not related to Muneer Own, who said he barely escaped an ordeal that started about a month ago.

Full story here.

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Dozens of Libyans perform the last late afternoon prayer of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at Freedom Square in the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi on August 29, 2011.

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Libya rebels claim to have "almost certain information" that Gaddafi's intelligence chief was killed.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Libya rebels have "almost certain information" that Gaddafi intelligence chief killed on Sat. -Spokesman tells al-Arabiya TV

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Al Jazeera's James Bays filed a dazzling report from Libya on the situation of African migrants in the embattled country. Migrants claim to be assaulted and are locked up in prisons until rebel fighters made sure they did not work as mercenaries for the Gaddafi regime.

Watch Bays' report here:

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The rebel commander in Tripoli Al Mahdi Al Haraqi told Reuters that he had confirmation that Khamis Gaddafi has been killed in a clash near Ben Walid.

Reuters writes:

He was taken to a hospital but died of his wounds and was buried in the area, Al-Haragi said, without giving the timing. No independent confirmation of the death was available.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the United States could not yet independently confirm Khamis' death but said similar information was being received in Washington from "reliable sources."

Rebels claimed twice before Khamis Gaddafi was killed.

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Libya's National Transitional Council reacted strongly on the message that relatives of Gaddafi would have arrived in Algeria, Reuters reports.

A spokesperson for the NTC said it considers sheltering members of Gaddafi's family an act of aggression.

"We have promised to provide a just trial to all those criminals and therefore we consider this an act of aggression," spokesman Mahmoud Shamman told Reuters.

"We are warning anybody not to shelter Gaddafi and his sons. We are going after them in any place to find them and arrest them," he said.

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A rebel commander in Tripoli claims Gaddafi's son Khamis has been killed in clashes in southern Libya.

Khamis was claimed killed twice before.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Gaddafi's son Khamis killed in clashes in southern Libya -Rebel commander in Tripoli

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AFP reports Italian energy company ENI reached an agreement with the Libyan National Transitional Council to take up gas supplies to Italy.

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Libyan rebels they seek the extradition of Gaddafi's family members who fled to Algeria.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Libya rebels say will seek extradition of Gaddafi family from Algeria

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Rebel commanders say Khamis Gaddafi, one of Colonel Gaddafi's most feared sons, has been killed in an air strike south of Tripoli.

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Algeria confirms two of Gaddafi's sons, his daughter Aicha and his wife are in the country.

@ Reuters : FLASH: Algeria confirms two of Gaddafi's sons, wife and daughter are in the country - Al-Jazeera TV

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Reuters reports Khamis Gaddafi, the Colonel's infamous ... son, may be next to be places on the ICC's most wanted list. The International Criminal Court earlier approved warrants for Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam.

ICC prosecutor Luis-Moreno Ocampo told Reuters in an interview that "Khamis should also be prosecuted because Khamis was the commander of the brigade that was more active on some of the crimes."

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Official reportedly confirm three of Gaddafi's sons, his daughter and wife have arrived in Algeria.

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From the Associated Press:

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The chairman of the African Union says Libyan rebels may be indiscriminately killing black people in Libya because they have confused innocent migrant workers with mercenaries.

Chairman Jean Ping told reporters Monday that this is one of the reasons the AU is refusing to recognize the National Transitional Council as the country's interim government.

He said "We need clarification because the NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries .... They are killing normal workers."

Libya's rebel National Transitional Council appears to have secured Libya's capital after a week of fierce fighting with loyalists to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

He said there was no doubt the council now controlled the capital city and called on both sides to "stop the killing."

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Libyan rebels captured Gaddafi's personal 'Afriqiyah Airbus' in Tripoli.

Libyan rebels leave Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's 'Afriqiyah One' Airbus A340 plane at Tripoli airport on August 29, 2011.

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The tribe of Abdel Fattah Younes said it will take justice into their own hands if rebel leaders do not identify the commander's killers, Reuters reports. "After Eid, that is the final deadline," Tarek, one of Younes' sons said in an interview with Reuters.

Abdel Fattah Younes was killed on July 28 after he was summoned by rebel leaders for questioning. Libyan authorities identified two people who allegedly carried out the assassination, but head of the NTC Mustafa Abdel Jalil had told reporters on Wednesday the suspected killers would be arrested "when the higher interests of this revolution will not be damaged."

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Al Jazeera reporters in Tripoli said rebels have surrounded Gaddafi's hometown Sirte. The main push in the battle for Sirte is expected to come from the east, the channel reports.

Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel Hamid reported from the eastern front near Sirte that rebels are holding off attacks, as they want to give tribal leaders in the city time to negotiations.

Andrew Simons, on the western front near the city, reported small fights between rebels and Gaddafi loyalists.

On Monday, NATO intensified airstrikes on Sirte.

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The rebel flag waving over the Libyan embassy in Moscow.

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A leaked United Nations report proposes elections in Libya within nine months, Al Jazeera reports. The UN would be looking to send a small contingent of 'Blue Barrets' to the country, if requested by the Libyan authorities and authorized by the Security Council.

"If requested by the Libyans and authorized by the Council, the UN could contribute to confidence-building and to the implementation of agreed military tasks, through unarmed UN military observer (UNMOs)," Al Jazeera quotes the document.

Read more on Al Jazeera.

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France reopened its embassy in Libya, a spokesperson for the French foreign ministry said. France had closed the embassy six months ago.

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Libyan rebels asked NATO to keep up pressure on the Gaddafi regime. The Associated Press reports NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil told a NATO delegation that former regime supporters who are now in hiding could still cause trouble.

"Gaddafi is still capable is doing something awful in the last moments," Abdul-Jalil said.

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Tyler Hicks, photographer for the New York Times, found what seems to be a photo album from the Gaddafi family.

Watch the album on the NYTimes Lens Blog Website

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Internet has returned in many areas in Tripoli.

@ feb17voices : LPC #Tripoli: Internet has returned in many areas of the city. #Libya

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CNN correspondent in Libya Nic Robertson reports the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Basset al Megrahi, is comatose and nearing death.

Read Robertson's full report on the CNN website.

The National Transitional Council announced earlier it will not extradite the Libyan.

CNN's report contradicts statements made earlier by a cancer specialist, who said Abdel Basset al Megrahi was in good health and could live for years.

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Libya's National Transitional Council will not extradite the Lockerbie bomber

@ Reuters : Minister in National Transitional Council says Libya will not extradite Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi

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An Iranian newspaper wrote on Sunday that foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi claimed Iran "discreetly" provided humanitarian aid to rebels in Libya.

According to AFP the minister told the newspaper that Iran was "in touch with many of the rebel groups in Libya before the fall of (Moamer) Gaddafi, and discreetly dispatched three or four food and medical consignments to Benghazi."

The minister also said the head of the NTC sent a letter to Teheran, thanking Iranian president Ahmedinejad for his help.

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AFP reports Libyan rebels have freed more than 10,000 prisoners since they captured Tripoli. 50,000 prisoners would still be missing.

Ahmed Omar Bani, a spokesperson for the rebels, told reporters during a press conference that between 57,000 and 60,000 people have been arrested over the past months.

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Libyan rebels declined an offer by Muammar Gaddafi to negotiate, saying they do not recognize him and are looking for Gaddafi as a criminal.

On Saturday, a spokesman for Gaddafi had offered the rebels by phone to start talks lead by Gaddafi's son Saadi.

Mahmoud Shamman, the NTC's information minister said in a news conference:

"I would like to state very clearly, we don't recognize them. We are looking at them as criminals. We are going to arrest them very soon .. Talking about negotiations is a daydream for what remains of the dictatorship."

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Al Jazeera English has more on the latest overtures from the Gaddafi camp:

Moussa Ibrahim, the spokesperson for Muammar Gaddafi, has reportedly told the Associated Press news agency that the Libyan leader is ready to negotiate with the rebels to form a transitional government.

Ibrahim called AP headquarters in New York late on Saturday, and told them he was calling from Tripoli, the Libyan capital, and that Gaddafi was still in Libya.

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There was heavy fighting before the rebels broke through the green gates of the compound and shooting broke out from other parts of the large, sprawling complex. The body of a slain Gadhafi fighter with a gaping head wound was sprawled on the floor of one of two tents that had been used for pro-regime protests. The other tent was partially on fire.

Despite the euphoria, Gadhafi's whereabouts remained unknown.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Russian head of the World Chess Federation who has known Gadhafi for year, said he spoke Tuesday by telephone with the Libyan leader who told him that he was "alive and well and still in Tripoli." The report couldn't be independently confirmed.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday that it was clear the rebels were winning "important successes ... but this is not yet an ordered or secure situation."

"They have fought their way to the gates of Gadhafi's compound, that is a historic achievement," Hague told Britain's Sky News. "It's not over yet, but we are in the death throes of a despicable regime."

The heavily fortified complex, which has been heavily damaged by NATO airstrikes for five of the six months since the anti-regime uprising began, is the most defining symbol of Gadhafi's nearly 42-year rule and its occupation, a day after the rebels swept into the Libyan capital with stunning speed, comes as the opposition faced pockets of resistance and fighting rocked the capital.

Ayman Coumi, 21, joined a crowd walking out with boxes of weapons and ammunition; others drove out with trucks mounted with anti-aircraft weapons.

Other rebels swarmed around Gadhafi's former residence, which had been hit by a 1986 U.S. airstrike in retaliation for a bombing attack on a German disco in which two U.S. servicemen were killed. One man climbed onto a sculpture of a clenched fist crushing a U.S. fighter jet that had been erected after the strike.

Wael Abu Khris, 35, a shipping agent turned rebel fighter from Tripoli, was walking around the compound after the battle, carrying his Kalashnikov.

"I feel great satisfaction. We are at least free of this dictator. Libya is free at last. No more Gadhafi! It is time for a new Libya that will shine and go forth."

Abdel-Aziz Shafiya, 19, walked down one of the main roads of the compound with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other. The teenager, who is from the embattled city of Misrata, said he felt "an explosion of joy inside."

"I lost friends and relatives and now I can walk into Gadhafi's house," he said. "Many of my friends have died and now all of that meant something."

It was not immediately clear whether Gadhafi or members of his immediate family were in the compound when it was breached, but the ferocity of the battle led many to speculate that the maverick leader may have been inside.

Gadhafi's former right-hand man Abdel-Salam Jalloud, who defected earlier this month, told Al-Jazeera television that he thought the Libyan leader was moving around the outskirts of Tripoli, taking shelter at private homes, small hotels and mosques. Jalloud defected this month.

The battle for Bab al-Azizya, in which mortars, heavy machine-guns and anti-aircraft guns were used, came hours after Gadhafi's son and heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, made a dramatic appearance in Tripoli as a free man, thwarting Libyan rebel claims he had been captured and rallying supporters.

His surprise appearance underlined the potential for Gadhafi to strike back even as his grip on power seemed to be slipping fast.

The fighting began hours after Seif al-Islam, with a full beard and wearing an olive-green T-shirt and camouflage trousers, took a group of foreign journalists Bab al-Aziziya as part of a tour aimed at showing the regime still has support. At least a hundred men were waiting in lines for guns being distributed to volunteers to defend the regime. Seif al-Islam shook hands with supporters, beaming and flashing the "V" for victory sign.

"We are here. This is our country. This is our people, and we live here, and we die here," he told AP Television News. "And we are going to win, because the people are with us. That's why were are going to win. Look at them - look at them, in the streets, everywhere!"

It was not clear whether Gadhafi's son, who turned up at the Rixos hotel, where about 30 foreign journalists have been staying under the close watch of regime minders, had escaped from rebel custody or never been captured in the first place.

His arrest had been announced on Monday by both the rebels and the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court, which has indicted him and his father. ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah said the court never received official confirmation from Libya's rebel authorities about the arrest.

The rebel leadership - which had said Seif al-Islam was captured without giving details on where he was held - seemed stunned. A rebel spokesman, Sadeq al-Kabir, had no explanation and could only say, "This could be all lies."

He also said another captured Gadhafi son, Mohammed, had escaped house arrest. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the rebel National Transitional Council, announced the detention of a third Gadhafi son, al-Saadi, on Monday.

Riding in a white limousine amid a convoy of armored SUVs, Seif al-Islam took reporters on a drive through parts of the city still under the regime's control, including Bab al-Aziziya, saying, "We are going to hit the hottest spots in Tripoli." AP reporters were among the journalists who saw him and went on the tour.

The tour also covered the district around the Rixos hotel and streets full of armed Gadhafi backers, controlled by roadblocks, and into the Gadhafi stronghold neighborhood Bu Slim.

When asked about the ICC's claim that he was arrested by rebels, he told reporters: "The ICC can go to hell," and added "We are going to break the backbone of the rebels."

Rebels said Monday that they controlled most of Tripoli, but they faced pockets of fierce resistance from regime loyalists firing mortars and anti-aircraft guns. Rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, who was in Tripoli, said the "danger is still there" as long as the longtime Libyan leader remains on the run.

He warned that pro-Gadhafi brigades are positioned on Tripoli's outskirts and could "be in the middle of the city in half an hour."

An hourlong battle also erupted close to the Rixos Hotel on Tuesday morning, according to AP reporters staying there. The hotel and the area around it are under tight regime control, with scores of heavily armed soldiers stationed just outside it.

A new bout of fighting around the Rixos took place in the afternoon, with the AP reporters saying the sound of explosions and heavy machine-gun fire was much closer than during the morning fighting. A few stray bullets hit the hotel, they said.

It was not immediately clear whether the rebel attack was aimed at capturing the hotel.

The rebels have claimed control of much of the rest of the country outside Tripoli, and the city of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown to the east of Tripoli, was the most important loyalist bastion to remain fully under his control.

Gadhafi's forces fired off a short-range Scud missile Monday near Sirte - the second one fired during the six-month civil war. On Aug. 15, Libyan government forces launched one near Sirte that landed in the desert outside Brega, injuring no one.

A representative from Sirte on the rebels' National Transitional Council told the AP on Tuesday that the situation in the city was extremely volatile because Gadhafi brigades had retreated to the city after fleeing the Brega oil terminal.

"There is no power in Sirte, we are getting in touch with the people inside only through satellite phones," Hassan al-Daroui told the Associated Press in Benghazi.

He said that many people in Sirte had not even heard about the rebel advance into Tripoli and residents had told him that there were heavily guarded checkpoints all over the city and people were too scared to leave their homes.

"We are worried that Gadhafi wants to just kill as many people as he can before his demise," al-Daroui said. "He knows he is finished, now he wants to bring Sirte down with him."

Farther east from Tripoli, the rebels reported territorial gains at the expense of the regime forces. Mohammed al-Rijail, a rebel spokesman in Benghazi, said rebel fighters have advanced to al-Aqaila, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the oil port city of Ras Lanouf.

"There was no resistance and no fighting as Gadhafi forces retreated to Ras Lanouf," he said.

The International Organization for Migration, meanwhile, said that a rescue mission to pluck 300 foreign nationals from the Libyan capital has been delayed by fighting. The Geneva-based group says an IOM-chartered ship will remain off the coast of Tripoli "until security conditions have improved and the safety of staff and migrants can be guaranteed."

___

Associated Press writers Rami al-Shaheibi in Benghazi, Maggie Michael in Cairo and Mike Corder at The Hague, Netherlands, contributed to this report.

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