U.S. official: U.S. has no reason to think Gaddafi dead

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:58pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The government has no reason to believe that Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is dead, a U.S. official said on Thursday after oil traders cited a rumor that Gaddafi had been shot as pushing down oil prices.

Asked if Washington had reason to believe that Gaddafi, who is seeking to crush protests against his 41-year rule in the oil-exporting North African nation, was dead, the U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "No."

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