Gaddafi has likely fled Tripoli, not Libya

LIBYAN leader Muammar Gaddafi may have fled Tripoli, Italy’s foreign minister says amid reports the strongman has been injured.

At least one Catholic official in Tripoli is reporting that Gaddafi has been hurt, minister Franco Frattini said yesterday, adding a caution that Italy has “no hard information on the current fate of Gaddafi”.

Although he said the report about Gaddafi from Tripoli Archbishop Martinelli was “credible”.

“I tend to take as credible the words of the Tripoli Archbishop (Giovanni) Martinelli who tells us that Gaddafi is very probably outside of Tripoli and probably also wounded,” the ANSA news agency quoted Frattini as telling reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

Frattini said “international pressure has likely provoked the decision by Gaddafi to seek refuge in a safe place.”

That comment came during a TV interview with Corriere della Sera that was posted on the newspaper’s website.

“I lean toward the solution of an escape from Tripoli, not an escape from Libya,” Frattini said. “Libya is a big country, with desert areas.”

Martinelli has been a vocal critic of the NATO bombing campaign against the Gaddafi regime’s forces.

Gaddafi’s compound has been a frequent site of NATO-led airstrikes.

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