Libya’s Moussa Ibrahim denies reports of his capture

Moussa Ibrahim, the fugitive spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi, telephoned a Syria-based television channel on Saturday to deny reports that he himself had been captured this week.

Ibrahim told Reuters on Monday he was regularly moving in and out of Gaddafi’s hometown, Sirte, which is encircled by anti-Gaddafi forces.

Media reports after that said Ibrahim, disguised as a woman, had been captured by forces loyal to the ruling National Transitional Council while in the NTC-held city of Misrata.

“This information is a lie and does not reflect reality because I was near the front of Sirte with 23 fighters,” Ibrahim told Arrai TV.

“We were attacked for over a day-and-a-half by heavily armed rebels. There were deaths on both sides.”

Sirte — one of only two main remaining Gaddafi strongholds in Libya — is under intensive shelling and rocket fire from NTC forces and is regularly hit by NATO airstrikes.

“Tomorrow we expect a strong attack from several points of Sirte but we are ready,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim, who became the face of Gaddafi during the war, is widely believed to be on the run in Libya. He has refused to comment on the whereabouts of the ousted leader.

He said during the phone call to Arrai TV that Gaddafi had asked him to pass on his condolences to the family of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, whose son, Khaled Abdel Nasser, died on Sept. 15. (Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Barry Malone)

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