News / Africa

Libya Denies Gadhafi's Son Dead

Still image from video footage by Libyan state television on August 9, 2011, shows what it says is Khamis Gadhafi (L) visiting wounded Libyans in a hospital
Still image from video footage by Libyan state television on August 9, 2011, shows what it says is Khamis Gadhafi (L) visiting wounded Libyans in a hospital

Libyan state television has broadcast what it says is footage of leader Moammar Gadhafi's son Khamis recorded Tuesday, days after rebels claimed he was killed.

The man reported to be Khamis Gadhafi was shown visiting wounded Libyans in a hospital.

The Libyan government has denied rebel claims that Khamis, commander of one of his father's best-equipped units, was killed in a NATO airstrike near the western town of Zlitan.

If the video is authentic, this would be the first time he has been seen in public since Friday's reports of his death.

Meanwhile, the United States has praised Libyan rebels' decision to reorganize their leadership following last month's mysterious killing of a rebel military chief.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday the opposition Transitional National Council is trying to reassure Libyans that by reshuffling, it has a democratic and transparent leadership group. She said the U.S. welcomes the goal of the council's chief, Mahmoud Jibril, to form a new executive committee as quickly and openly as possible.

The opposition group dismissed its executive branch Monday to ease tensions involving last month's assassination of General Abdel Fattah Younes. His death has been considered a setback for the rebels and a sign of infighting within the group.

More than 30 countries, including the U.S., France and Britain, have recognized the opposition council as Libya's interim government.   

The Libyan uprising began in February. The Gadhafi government has been widely criticized for responding to unrest and pro-democracy demonstrations with a fierce crackdown.

NATO has been carrying out air attacks against pro-Gadhafi forces in Libya since March. The military campaign is operating under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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