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Gadhafi's Wife and Children Flee to Algeria

Moammar Gadhafi’s wife, two sons, a daughter, and a number of grandchildren escaped Libyan rebels and entered Algeria on Monday, according to the Algerian Foreign Ministry. His location, as well as the whereabouts of his other sons, remain unknown.

Libyan rebels took clear steps toward installing themselves as the country’s official government this week, signing an energy contract with Italy’s biggest oil corporation and allowing France and Britain, the rebels’ leading NATO allies, to begin re-establishing their embassies in Tripoli. East of the city, fighters advanced toward Gadhafi’s hometown of Surt, a place considered to be his last stronghold of support. Rebels hoped to negotiate the town’s surrender. –ARK

The New York Times:

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s second wife and three of his children fled to Algeria on Monday, the Algerian Foreign Ministry said. It was the first official news on the whereabouts of any members of the Qaddafi family since he was routed from his Tripoli fortress by rebel forces a week ago, a decisive turn in the Libyan conflict.

In a brief announcement carried by Algeria’s official news agency APS, the ministry said Colonel Qaddafi’s wife, Safiya, daughter Aisha, and sons Hannibal and Mohammed, accompanied by their children, “entered Algeria at 08:45 a.m. (0745 GMT) through the Algeria-Libyan border.”

The announcement gave no further details. The whereabouts of Colonel Qaddafi himself remain unknown, along with those of his other sons, most notably Seif al-Islam, his second-in-command; Khamis, head of an elite paramilitary brigade; or Muatassim, a militia commander and Colonel Qaddafi’s national security adviser. A rebel spokesman said Sunday that Khamis al-Qaddafi may have been killed on Saturday, but that no positive identification had been made.

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