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Rebel officer says Qaddafi’s son Khamis killed in clash near Tripoli

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Fallen Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi’s son Khamis has been killed in a clash near Tripoli, a senior rebel officer said on Monday.

Colonel Al-Mahdi Al-Haragi, in charge of the Tripoli Brigade of the rebel army, said he had confirmation that Khamis was badly wounded in the clash near Ben Walid and Tarhoni.

He was taken to a hospital but died of his wounds and was buried in the area, Haragi said, without confirming the date of his death. No independent confirmation of the death was available.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the United States could not yet independently confirm Khamis’ death but said similar information was being received in Washington from “reliable sources.”

Earlier on Monday, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told Reuters he had intended to apply for an arrest warrant for Khamis Qaddafi.

Human Rights Watch said members of the Khamis Brigade, a force commanded by him, appeared to have carried out summary executions of detainees whose bodies were found in a warehouse in Tripoli.

The Hague-based ICC has already approved warrants for the arrest of Muammar Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam, and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity.

Khamis Qaddafi had already been reported to be killed twice during this year’s uprising against his father.

There were rumors in March that he had died after a dissident Libyan air force pilot deliberately crashed his jet into the Qaddafi compound, and in August a rebel group claimed to have killed him. After both reports he appeared on Libyan television to prove he was still alive.

Khamis Qaddafi was wounded in a 1986 US air attack on Tripoli ordered by President Ronald Reagan. However, he took up a military career as commander of the 32nd Brigade, one of Libya’s best-equipped military formations, which played an important role in the government’s counter-insurgency campaign.

Muammar Qaddafi’s wife and three of their other children, including two sons, entered Algeria on Monday morning, Algeria’s Foreign Ministry said. Libyan rebel groups have said sheltering the family was an “act of aggression.”