Qaddafi’s grandchildren, reportedly killed in NATO air strike, may be alive, after all


The claim that Muammar Qaddafi’s three grandchildren were killed in an airstrike conducted by NATO late Saturday is not true, an Al Arabiya source has revealed. A source close to the Qaddafi family has confirmed the death of Colonel Qaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, in the airstrike but has denied the story that Mr. Qaddafi’s three grandsons were killed.

Mr. Qaddafi’s announcements concerning the alleged deaths of family members at the hands of foreign powers sometimes do not hold up to subsequent scrutiny.

For example, in 1986 it was claimed that his adopted daughter Hana died in 1986 by a US air strike launched in response to alleged Libyan involvement in the bombing of a Berlin disco frequented by US military personnel. However, many Libyans subsequently said that she had been spotted in Libya after the claim. The truth about Hana’s death remains a mystery.

Libyan People generally do not trust this sort of information anymore, the source close to the Qaddafi family said to Al Arabiya.
Revising history about his family members is something that has happened before as far as Colonel Qaddafi is concerned.

After he took the power in the late 1960s, Mr. Qaddafi ordered the transfer of his father’s body to the Martyr’s Cemetery In Tripoli from a private graveyard. All official envoys to Libya are taken to visit his grave to pay their respects to Colonel Qaddafi’s father, as he is now a symbol of resistance against Italian occupation.

Libyan unofficial historians say that they don’t have accurate information that could lead them to believe that Mr. Qaddafi's father Hamid Abouminiar, a nomad, was at all involved in the resistance.

(Umita Raghu Venkataraman of Al Arabiya can be reached at umita.venkataraman@mbc.net)