AFRICA/LIBYA - "Last night the capture (then denied) of Gaddafi's son was celebrated", said Msgr. Martinelli

Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) - "Late last night several gun fire shots were heard as a sign of celebration. Usually this happens when you obtain an important goal or capture a personality of the former regime. But I have no confirmation of Mutassim Gaddafi’s capture" sais His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli to Fides. The capture of Mutassim Gaddafi in Sirte, a son of the former Libyan leader and commander of an elite military unit, was announced by the National Transitional Council (NTC) late yesterday evening, October 12, but was then denied by a leading military commander of the NTC, according to agency sources.
In Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown and one of the strongholds still in the hands of his men, fighting still continues. "When I heard the shots fired as a sign of joy, a real flood, I thought Sirte had been conquered. Then this morning I learned the news of the capture of Mutassim, but they could simply be rumors", said Mgr. Martinelli. "In Tripoli, life continues normally, although there is some uncertainty, and where still many foreign companies keep their distance. I hope the situation will stabilize soon, allowing foreign companies to return to work in Libya, in order to contribute to the welfare of the population", continued Mgr. Martinelli.
"However, there are policemen on the streets. This police force is different from the previous, more smiley and trying to gradually ensure order and security", says Mgr. Martinelli. "Several embassies have opened offices in Tripoli and several ambassadors have returned. However, foreign consular offices are issuing with difficulty visas to travel to their respective Countries. Some airlines have resumed flights to and from Tripoli. In short, time should be given for the situation to stabilize", concluded the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 13/10/2011)

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