Gaddafi's son skips town, flees to Nigerv

A convoy carrying ousted Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi's son al-Saadi has crossed into neighbouring Niger, a spokesman for Niger's government said.

The fugitive dictator's 37-year-old son is one of the highest-profile former regime figures to flee to the landlocked African nation.

Al-Saadi entered Niger in a convoy with nine other people, Niger justice minister Amadou Morou said.

Run away: Al-Saadi, the dictator's son left Tripoli and has now been
granted asylum in Niger. File pic/getty images

The vehicles were travelling south towards the outpost of Agadez, where other fleeing Libyan loyalists are believed to be holed up in a hotel.

"I wish to announce that one of Gaddafi's sons -- al-Saadi Gaddafi -- was intercepted in the north of Niger by a patrol of the Nigerian military," Morou told reporters.

He said al-Saadi "has been given status" in Niger, indicating that he has been granted refugee status, which would guarantee him certain rights.

Since last week, several convoys carrying senior officials of the former Libyan regime as well as civilians and soldiers have made their way across the desert border into Niger.

Niger has faced increasing scrutiny for allowing the former regime members onto its soil, and al-Saadi's arrival will likely intensify international pressure on the country to co-operate with Libya's new rulers.

They want all Gaddafi's sons � and Gaddafi himself, who is on the run -- to be turned over for trial.

As Libya's new leaders move to exert their authority in Tripoli, forces loyal to Gaddafi continue to hold out in three strongholds -- Sirte on the Mediterranean coast, Sabha in the southern desert, and Bani Walid south-east of Tripoli.



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