Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam has been captured, rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said as rebel fighters attacked the capital.
The chairman of the rebel National Transitional Council told Al-Jazeera television from Benghazi in eastern Libya he had “information that Seif al-Islam has been captured”.
“He is being kept in a secure place under close guard until he is handed over to the judiciary,” Abdel Jalil said, without giving a date or place for the reported capture of Gaddafi’s son.
Before the revolt which erupted in February, Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam was increasingly seen as the successor to his father, despite publicly ruling out any dynastic ambitions in the North African country.
He long served as the face of the regime in the West as he appeared in suits and ties and spoke fluent English.
Qaddafi plea: ‘Save Libya,’ after two sons captured
Embattled Libya leader Muammar Qaddafi has made a second appeal for his people to “save Tripoli” from a rebel offensive, in an audio message played on state television on Sunday.
“It is the obligation of all Libyans. It is a question of life or death,” he said. Colonel Qaddafi had made a similar appeal earlier in the evening on state television, as rebels streamed into the capital.
Al Arabiya television aired images of Libyans celebrating in central Tripoli and tearing down Gaddafi posters, the first images from the city since rebels entered from the west earlier in the day.
Col. Qaddafi also said he is prepared to negotiate directly with head of the rebel National transitional council after his son Saif Al Islam was captured by rebels Sunday night during their strategic advance on Tripoli.
Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on state television that Colonel Qaddafi is ready for immediate negotiations with rebels seeking to oust him, and has asked NATO to convince the rebel forces to halt an attack on Tripoli.
Mr. Ibrahim added that 1,300 people had been killed in fighting in Tripoli on Sunday.
Meanwhile, NATO called the situation in Libya “very fluid” on Sunday as rebel fighters streamed into the capital Tripoli, and said the rule of Muammar Qaddafi was “crumbling.”
“It’s a very fluid situation. We can see that the regime is crumbling, and the sooner Qaddafi realizes he cannot win this war against his own people, the better,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said.
“He’s the one who’s responsible for starting the conflict and he should spare his people further bloodshed,” she added.
Earlier, Muammar Qaddafi’s presidential guard had surrendered to Libya’s rebels, Al Arabiya reported on Sunday, citing the rebel National Transitional Council after reports came in that the rebels captured Muammar Qaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam during their strategic advance on Tripoli.
Rebel national transitional council head Mustafa Abdul Jalil confirmed Saif Al Islam’s capture: “We have confirmed information that our guys have captured Saif Al Islam.”