Gaddafi son Khamis, spy chief believed dead - rebels

TRIPOLI Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:32pm EDT

Still image from video footage by Libyan state television shows what it says is Muammar Gaddafi's son Khamis visiting wounded Libyans in a hospital, in a file image. REUTERS/Libya TV via Reuters TV

Still image from video footage by Libyan state television shows what it says is Muammar Gaddafi's son Khamis visiting wounded Libyans in a hospital, in a file image.

Credit: Reuters/Libya TV via Reuters TV

Related Topics

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan rebels are almost certain that Muammar Gaddafi's son Khamis and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi have been killed during fighting with their units, the top rebel military spokesman said on Monday.

If true, their deaths would mark the highest-profile casualties on the Gaddafi side since an uprising began six months ago aimed at ending Muammar Gaddafi's 42-years in power.

"We have almost certain information that Khamis Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi were killed on Saturday by a unit of the national liberation army during clashes in Tarhouna (90 km southeast of Tripoli)," spokesman Ahmed Bani told Al Arabiya television.

"Khamis Gaddafi was buried in Bani Walid," Bani told the pan-Arab channel.

However, Khamis has been reported dead twice before during the uprising, only to reappear, and Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who heads the rebel National Transitional Council, told Al Jazeera television on Monday that he did not have any official information about Khamis's death.

Colonel Al-Mahdi Al-Haragi, in charge of the Tripoli Brigade of the rebel army, said earlier that he had confirmation that Khamis, who commanded an elite brigade suspected of atrocities, had been badly wounded and died of his wounds in hospital.

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

Earlier on Monday, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told Reuters he may apply for an arrest warrant for Khamis.

Human Rights Watch said members of the Khamis Brigade, a force commanded by him, appeared to have carried out summary executions of detainees whose bodies were found in a warehouse in Tripoli.

The Hague-based ICC has already approved warrants for the arrest of Muammar Gaddafi and another of his sons, Saif al-Islam, as well as intelligence chief Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.

Rumours circulated in March that Khamis had died after a dissident Libyan air force pilot deliberately crashed his jet into the Gaddafi compound and in August the rebels claimed to have killed him and Senussi. After both reports Khamis appeared on Libyan television to prove he was still alive.

Khamis was wounded in a 1986 U.S. air attack on Tripoli ordered by President Ronald Reagan. However, he took up a military career as commander of the 32nd Brigade, one of Libya's best equipped military formations that played an important role in the government's counter-insurgency campaign.

Muammar Gaddafi's wife and three of his other children including two sons entered Algeria on Monday morning, Algeria's Foreign Ministry said, drawing criticism from Libya's rebels who said sheltering the family was an "act of aggression."

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (6)
Lullaby85 wrote:
The atrocity committed by Gaddafi and his militia are clear to everybody. But I wonder whether there is a cover up about those of the rebels. This rebels as you can read here http://marranci.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/the-libyan-revolution-tribes-andafghanistization/ are not only coming form fragmented trilbies but as the scholar above says in the post, they are members of Islamic groups whom have organized many suicide attacks agains also civilians in Iraq. Have these people changed in few months from butchers to Human Rights defenders?

Aug 29, 2011 7:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
FoxxDrake wrote:
Why does Algeria give too “hoots” about Gaddafi’s family?

Aug 29, 2011 4:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
The news has just been made official that Gaddafi and a number of members of his family are now in Algeria. This could be very good news if the prime movers of the offensive against the Gaddafi regime and what now reamins of it, within Libya and outside, listen to reason. The office of US Congress representative Denis Kucinich has issued a press release to comment on The Guardian’s report that he had planned a visit to Libya. His office is ready to help mediate a negotiated settlement. There had been five countries on the UNSC that, back in March, had refused to support UNSC Resolution 1973 to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. They were China, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa. The motivations for their reticence might have varied, but one common element must no doubt have been scepticism at the way the West has, in the past, systematically abused the wording of UNSC Resolutions to carry out its own agenda of bombing, of occupation, and of resource-grabbing. In turn, this calculation was not without self-interest: all the five countries have increasingly-strong common trade and financial ties with the emerging economies of the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA). They also share a common ambition to counter the domineering influence of the West worldwide. Now that the NATO-backed Transitional National Council has won a decisive victory, the five are forced to rethink their strategy of broader geopolitical calculations and focus on protecting their immediate interests, both in existing oil concession agreements and in other infrastructure investments and commercial transactions. French President Nicholas Sarkozy has invited all five countries to join other ‘friends of Libya’ nations for a Conference in Paris in a few days’ time to discuss support for the TNC. Of the five, the position of South Africa is the one that is clearly in perfect coherence with its initial position not to support UNSC Resolution 1973. The African Union has so far refused to recognise the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya: it is determined to wait and see how the TNC restores law and order, resumes the delivery of basic services, promotes reconciliation, and thus earns near-universal acceptance among the Libyan people themselves. The attitude of India and Brazil is in tune with that of Turkey, a NATO member that is also an Islamic country sharing much with MENA; That attitude is one of sympathy for the apparent pious vow of the West to promote democracy in MENA, tempered by a healthy dose of wariness about Western duplicity that has been so evident in the West’s foreign policy adventures of the past two decades. Russia and China make their scepticism about Western intentions clear, but are open to swapping their wariness for collaboration if the TNC proves that its legitimacy is accepted by the overwhelming majority of Libyans. It would seem that the ouster of Gaddafi has been widely welcomed in MENA, but foreign (Western) involvement is resented. In these circumstances, South Africa and the AU would be well advised to mollify their scepticism and adopt the same ground-reality-adapting line of Turkey and Brazil, hoping that India does not act in an unbecomingly opportunistic manner by casting aside its healthy reservations about Western calculations, and that Russia and China, mindful of their weight in global geopolitics and a fast-changing international governance order, contnue as resolute counterweights to a West that is still not ready to accept multi-polarity. Meanwhile, Algeria has today confirmed that Muammar Gaddafi and a significant number of his family members are now in Algeria, and this fact has been officially notified to the Secretary General of the UN, to the President of the UNSC (India currently presides the UNSC) and to Mahmoud Djibril (the President of the Executive Council of the Tunisian TNC). It is still time, as an official press release by US Congress Representative Denis Kucinich puts it, to reach a negotiated settlement between the TNC and what remains, in Libya and outside Libya, of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Kucinich’s Office is eager to play a constructive role to that effect. People of good will pray that reason prevails.

Aug 29, 2011 4:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.