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LIBYA: Rebels search Kadafi tunnels, bunker

August 25, 2011 |  9:53 am

Tunnels1
Libyan rebel gunmen forced their way into tunnels under Moammar Kadafi's Tripoli compound Thursday after battling loyalists above ground.

Some reports suggest the maze of tunnels could stretch for miles.

The rebels descended from the Bab Azizia complex and began searching the labyrinth of air-conditioned tunnels for clues as photographers and an Al Jazeera crew tagged along. Pretty soon they found a bunker stocked with food, supplies, beds and gas masks.

Tunnels2 The rebels told reporters they believe Kadafi used the bunker at some point during the conflict.

Carrying AK-47s and moving slowly through the tunnels, the rebels opened heavy doors, exposing dozens of vents -- but not the missing 69-year-old leader.

Concerned about booby traps and possible ambushes, the rebels eventually stopped and retraced their steps back through the tunnels.

Although some rebel leaders claimed to have Kadafi surrounded in buildings near Bab Azizia, his whereabouts remained unclear late Thursday.

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LIBYA: Rebels claim Kadafi, son surrounded

LIBYA: Kadafi hideout reportedly found

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Top photo: Libyans gather Thursday at the opening to a tunnel at Moammar Kadafi's Bab Azizia compound in Tripoli. Credit: Patrick Baz / AFP / Getty Images

Bottom photo: A rebel fighter explores a tunnel under Moammar Kadafi's compound in Tripoli on Thursday. Credit: Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press

 

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