Qaddafi’s Relatives Flee Libya to Algeria

Members of Muammar Qaddafi’s family have arrived in Algeria less than a week after rebels gained control of Tripoli and the National Transitional Council moved its headquarters to the capital.

The family members include his wife Safia, his daughter Aisha, and two sons, Hannibal and Mohammad, with their wives and children, state-run Algérie Presse Service reported today, citing a statement by the country’s foreign ministry. NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon have been informed of their arrival, the statement said.

Rebels have been trying to find Muammar Qaddafi, consolidate gains and bring stability to the country since entering Tripoli last week, backed by airstrikes from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The rebel council moved its headquarters to the capital from Benghazi on Aug. 24.

Qaddafi is still in Libya, Moussa Ibrahim, his chief spokesman, said in a phone call to the Associated Press in New York yesterday from Tripoli, without saying where the Libyan leader was located.

Algeria has adhered to a policy of “strict neutrality” throughout the Libya crisis and respects “the decision of every person under its sovereignty,” Foreign Minister Amar Belan said in a statement published on the ministry website Aug. 27. Algeria has no intention to “interfere in any manner whatsoever in the internal affairs” of Libya.

(Corrects spelling of Qaddafi’s wife in second paragraph. See EXTRA for more on the conflict.)
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