12 Sep 2011

Gaddafi's son in Niger, government says

9:57 am on 12 September 2011

One of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, Saadi, has entered the territory of Libya's southern neighbour Niger, a government minister says.

Niger justice minister Marou Adamou says Saadi Gaddafi was intercepted heading in the direction of Agadez - the northern town through which at least two previous convoys of Gaddafi loyalists have entered in the past week.

Mr Adamou said Saadi Gaddafi was in a convoy of nine people intercepted by Nigerian solders on patrol in the Sahara, and the government had not been informed of their arrival.

He expects them to be transferred to the capital, Niamey, in the next few days.

The International Criminal Court in the Hague has issued a warrant for Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam, but not for Saadi.

Saadi Gaddafi had attempted to negotiate an end to fighting with Libya's ruling National Transitional Council in late August, but his brother Saif al-Islam publicly contradicted his efforts at the time, vowing a "war of attrition".

Saadi's convoy is the third containing important members of Gaddafi's entourage to arrive in Niger in the past seven days.

Others include Gaddafi's security chief and at least two top generals, all of whom are now in the capital.

Saadi had a brief career with several Italian soccer clubs and captained the Libyan national team, whose coach was once fired for not selecting him.