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LIBYA: Rebels in Tripoli may have Kadafi surrounded

August 25, 2011 |  9:08 am

An intense battle erupted late Thursday in Tripoli as rebels surrounded some buildings where they believe embattled leader Moammar Kadafi may be hiding.

About 1,000 rebels surrounded two buildings filled with Kadafi loyalists in the neighborhood next to the Libyan leader's captured Bab Azizia compound, according to the Associated Press.

AP reporters on the scene Thursday said rebels were hammering the buildings with heavy gunfire. A huge explosion at the site sent a large plume of white smoke into the sky.

A rebel commander told CNN that the rebels had Kadafi cornered in a complex of buildings near his former compound. The rebels believe Kadafi may be hiding in the buildings with one or more of his sons, Reuters is reporting.

"They are together. They are in a small hole," one of the fighters involved in the battle, Muhammad Gomaa, told Reuters. "Today we finish. Today we will end that."

Mahmoud Bakoush, a rebel commander at the site, told the AP that rumors that one of Kadafi's sons might be in the buildings hadn't been unconfirmed.


Kadafi addresses nation

Rebel leaders say transition 'begins immediately'

Search for Kadafi goes on as rebels seize compound

--Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: A Libyan rebel fighter points his rifle at a portrait of Moammar Kadafi in Tripoli on Thursday. Credit: Francois Mori / Associated Press