News / Africa

Anti-Gadhafi Forces Offer Reward for Gadhafi's Capture

Rebel fighters seen inside the main Moammar Gadhafi compound in Bab al-Aziziya in Tripoli, Libya, August 24, 2011
Rebel fighters seen inside the main Moammar Gadhafi compound in Bab al-Aziziya in Tripoli, Libya, August 24, 2011

Libya's opposition is offering a $1.67 million reward for the capture of Moammar Gadhafi.

Transitional National Council (TNC) leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said Wednesday his opposition group supports a decision by local businessmen to provide the reward in an attempt to speed up Mr. Gadhafi's capture.

As rebels celebrate the fall of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans from outside the capital are heading towards Tripoli. Mohammed al-Abdallah, an official with the opposition movement National Front of the Salvation of Libya, told VOA from the city of Misrata that he wanted to work to get Tripoli back to normal.

Listen to JulieAnn McKellogg's interview with Mohammed al-Abdallah

Awad al-Faituri, a businessman who just returned to Libya four days ago after spending 30 years working abroad, said celebrations also had erupted in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Listen to JulieAnn McKellogg's interview with Awad al-Faituri

As revelers take to the streets of Tripoli celebrating the overtaking of Moammar Gadhafi's compound in the capitol, some Libyans are celebrating from home until the violence subsides. Talis Aghil, a 23-year-old Libyan activist, spoke to VOA on Skype from her home in Tripoli. She has not left her home out of fear, but believes within a day she will be on the streets celebrating with her fellow Libyans.

Listen to JulieAnn McKellogg's interview with Talis Aghil

The former leader's whereabouts are unknown, but U.S. officials say they believe he is still in Libya.

Earlier Wednesday, fighting broke out again at the Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli, one day after rebel fighters overran the former Gadhafi headquarters.

A leader in the anti-Gadhafi forces, Anis Elsharif, told VOA that opposition fighters are continuing to battle government loyalists in some pockets of Tripoli.  However, the rebels appear to be widening the areas of the capital that are under their control.

TNC member Abobakr Ba'are says the group's plans, in a post-Gadhafi era, are to establish security, meet the basic needs of the Libyan people and then begin work on creating what he called a "transitional" parliament.  He commented in an interview with VOA's Persian Service from Benghazi.

Meanwhile, clashes continued Wednesday in Zuara, a town west of Tripoli, as well as near Mr. Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.

In a separate development, four Italian journalists were kidnapped near Zawiya, a town 50 kilometers west of Tripoli.  Italy says the abductors, described as Gadhafi loyalists, killed the driver of the journalists' vehicle.

Earlier in the day, about 35 journalists who had been detained by Gadhafi loyalists in Tripoli were set free.  They had been held at a hotel in the capital for four days.

A pro-government television channel has quoted Mr. Gadhafi as saying he retreated from his Tripoli compound in a "tactical move," following dozens of NATO airstrikes.  Al-Rai TV reported Wednesday that Mr. Gadhafi addressed Libyans on a local radio station, saying he vowed martyrdom or victory in his fight against what he called NATO aggression.

TNC leader Jalil said Tuesday that days of fighting in Tripoli had left more than 400 people dead and 2,000 wounded.  He did not specify whether he was talking about both sides in the conflict.

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

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