gadaffi's spokesman

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Old 04-Sep-2011
gadaffi's spokesman

Gaddafi's spokesman dismissed
suggestions on Saturday that one
of his last bastions of support,
Bani Walid, was about to
surrender to his enemies and
insisted that tribal leaders there
were still loyal.
"Bani Walid is a major city hosting
one of the biggest tribes in Libya
who have declared their
allegiance to the leader and they
refused all approaches for
negotiation with the Transitional
Council," Moussa Ibrahim told
He said he had spoken to leaders
of the locally dominant Warfalla
tribe, a group that includes up to
a million of Libya's six million
people, who told him a meeting
of elders had decided to continue
backing the fugitive former
Independent accounts of
conditions in Bani Walid have
been sparse, though a Libyan in
touch with people in the town
told Reuters on Friday that its
leaders were discussing terms
that would allow some anti-
Gaddafi fighters to enter.
Ibrahim, who called Reuters in
Tunisia to make a statement
accusing the Gulf Arab state of
Qatar of promoting Islamist rule
in Libya, declined to say where he
was speaking from.
But asked about a demand from
the new ruling council urging a
surrender, he said: "The
transitional council's messages to
Bani Walid are not being heeded
here in Bani Walid."
On Friday, he had told Reuters he
was in a "southern suburb of
Tripoli" but moving around. Bani
Walid is in the desert some 150
km (100 miles) southeast of the
Saying that the Warfalla had lost
some 1,000 men fighting the
rebellion against Gaddafi this year
and would not see that blood
shed in vain, Ibrahim said: "They
have one opinion and that is to
keep the fight on until NATO
stops its aggression."
Forces of the National Transitional
Council (NTC) say they have been
negotiating with tribal leaders in
Bani Walid to avoid bloodshed.
But one military spokesman said
late on Saturday that they had
"lost patience" and were
preparing to move on the town
within the coming hours.
NTC commanders have said they
believe Gaddafi and his most
politically prominent son Saif al-
Islam are in the town.
Asked about Muammar Gaddafi's
whereabouts, Ibrahim said he did
not know: "But I know very much
that he's in the country -- this is
for sure," he added. "And he's in a
safe place surrounded by many
people who are prepared to
protect him."
In a prepared statement, which
echoed previous comments by
himself and the Gaddafis, Ibrahim
alleged that the Islamist
appointed by the NTC to
command forces in Tripoli was an
al Qaeda agent. He said the emir
of Qatar, who has backed the
NATO operation against Gaddafi,
was helping al Qaeda establish a
base in Libya to deflect threats
against his own country.
"NATO needs to wake up to this
conspiracy between al Qaeda and
Qatar and start to see things for
what they are in Tripoli," he said
in the statement. Gaddafi has
often presented himself as a
bulwark against radical, anti-
Western Islam.
"NATO can go and explain that we
are just trying to play the al Qaeda
card against them," Ibrahim said.
"But soon enough they will see
that our warnings should have
been heeded."

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