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Gaddafi son Khamis dead—again—in country still “awash in weapons”

Video shows cache of weapons allegedly abandoned by Gen. Khamis Gaddafi in a suburb near the capital, Libya, in August, 2011.

Media are reporting that the 7th son of the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi has died in Bani Walid. Khamis Gaddafi, referred to by his followers as “General,” allegedly was killed in fighting with forces of the current transitional government in Libya on Saturday.

Gen. Gaddafi has been reported dead before, only to emerge and disprove the claims.

Xinhua, the official news service of the Chinese government, reported the death, adding:

[The] spokesman of the former Gaddafi government, Moussa Ibrahim, has been captured in the town of Tarhouna, 70 km south of Tripoli, by forces belonging to the current government.

Other media such as The Guardian-Nigeria said militia have been shelling Bani Walid, once a Gaddafi stronghold, describing the city as a “hilltop town of 70,000 people.”

The paper also said the city still harbors “pockets of support for the old government.”

No photos of the deceased have been published. Among the brigades the youngest Gaddafi son was said to command was the Mechanical 32 Brigade, described by The Tripoli Post as the “most feared.”

In 2011, just before fighting broke out in the civil war, The Telegraph (UK) reported:

Khamis Gaddafi, 27, spent four weeks in the US as part of an internship with AECOM, a global infrastructure company with deep business interests in Libya, according to Paul Gennaro, AECOM's Senior Vice President for Global Communications.

AECOM was listed by Forbes as #353 on the Fortune 500 list in 2009. A fact sheet posted on the company’s website said AECOM has 45,000 employees around the world.

At the time of Gaddafi’s trip, AECOM spokesman Paul Gennaro told The Telegraph (boldface added):

Mr. Gennaro said the US state department approved of the trip, and considered Khamis Gaddafi a reformer. He said the government signed off on the itinerary, at times offering advice that affected the company's plans for Gaddafi.

The Guardian said on Monday Libya is still “awash with weapons.”

Algeria ISP reported the rumor of the younger Gaddafi’s death is untrue. Roughly translated from the French, the message from the allegedly captured Ibhraim claimed:

They will show a person that looks like the son of the guide, General Khamiss Gaddafi. With foreign specialists, they will do cosmetic surgery for a person to give the same face as the General Khamis Gaddafi…He says that the rumor of his arrest in Bani Walid is false. The rumor was balanced by the CNT to the diversion of the militias that carry out such carnage in Bani Walid. Children, women and men are slaughtered in their homes by militias of Al Qaeda Bani Walid.

Keeping track of weapons has been a concern in Libya since the civil war began.

In the United States, controversy rages about unrest in Libya and events that led to the deaths of 4 Americans including the American ambassador Christopher Stevens.

On Sunday, U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News’ Chris Wallace the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was “becoming a death trap” ahead of the attacks that led to Stevens’ death. Graham said he put the crisis “on the president of the United States.”

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Oct. 22, 2012)


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