Rebels hunt for Gaddafi son Saadi in Tripoli hotel

TRIPOLI Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:37pm EDT

A Libyan rebel fighter carries a rocket propelled grenade launcher (RPG) as he walks at the Bab Al Aziziya compound as they make a final push to flush out pro-Gaddafi forces in Tripoli August 24, 2011. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A Libyan rebel fighter carries a rocket propelled grenade launcher (RPG) as he walks at the Bab Al Aziziya compound as they make a final push to flush out pro-Gaddafi forces in Tripoli August 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Bursts of gunfire rang out near the Corinthia Hotel in central Tripoli late on Wednesday and a column of smoke rose from the direction of the shooting, a Reuters correspondent at the hotel said.

Earlier, a group of heavily armed rebels arrived at the hotel, saying they had heard Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi was inside and that they would search every room for him.

A Reuters reporter saw about half a dozen rebels arrive in the hotel forecourt in a truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun. The men ran into the hotel and blocked off access to the elevators as they prepared to search the building room by room.

Foreign journalists who had been trapped for days in the Rixos hotel in the capital were taken to the Corinthia after their release on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Peter Graff and Ulf Laessing)

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