CAIRO: Muammar Qadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, on Wednesday vowed continued resistance to Libyan forces which ousted his father from Tripoli and urged Libyans to wage a war of attrition against the National Transitional Council and its NATO backers.
His statement appeared to contradict comments from another of Qadhafi's sons Saadi who said he had contacted Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) to try and stop the bloodshed.
Saif al-Islam Qadhafi, in a statement broadcast on the Syrian-owned Arrai satellite TV channel, said his father was doing well and warned NTC forces against trying to enter the family's hometown of Sirte, still under Qadhafi's control, saying 20,000 armed youths were waiting for them.
“We assure people we are here, ready and in good shape. Resistance is continuing and victory is near,” Saif al-Islam added, saying he was speaking from the suburbs of Tripoli.
“We assure people that we are standing fast and the commander is in good condition,” he said referring to his father, who had made two audio statements to radio and television channels since Tripoli fell earlier this month.
Saif al-Islam also urged Libyans across the country to move against the NTC forces. “We must wage a campaign of attrition day and night until these lands are cleansed from these gangs and traitors,” he said.
Saif al-Islam also slammed NATO for dealing with an ex-member of al Qaeda, who he said had been appointed to a senior position in the capital Tripoli. “You will regret this a lot,” he said.
He said his father's military complex at Bab al-Aziziya had endured more than 64 air raids by NATO over seven months and all soldiers withdrew during the bombardments.
“Our conditions are very well and the day of victory is close. They will leave, the mercenaries and NATO will leave,” Saif al-Islam said.
Saadi told Al-Arabiya TV he had contacted the NTC commander in Tripoli with authorisation from his father as part of efforts to stop the bloodshed in Libya.
“We were talking about negotiations based on ending bloodshed,” Saadi Qadhafi said.
The chief of anti-Qadhafi forces in Tripoli Abdel Hakim Belhadj told Reuters that Saadi had contacted him and asked to join the NTC forces if his safety was assured.
“I spoke to him personally,” Abdul Hakim Belhadj said. “He called and revealed his intention to come on the side of the rebels. We told Saadi we would guarantee him decent treatment in line with the human rights, legal rights of any Libyan person.”
US news network CNN earlier reported that Saadi denied he planned to surrender.