Gaddafi's wife, children living in 'close confinement' in Algerian villa

Embattled Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's immediate family members are living under 'close confinement' at a luxurious villa in Algeria, it has emerged

According to the Telegraph, Gaddafi's wife Safia, daughter Aisha, sons Mohammad and Hannibal, are under guard near the state residence complex in Staoueli about 20 kilometres west of Algiers.

Sources in Algiers said the family were taken to the area, which is home to senior regime figures, after they were transferred by private jet from a Sahara oasis at the weekend.

The paper quoted an official, as saying that Algeria refused to allow them to bring in 'a big sack of money' and their own bodyguards.

"They were told they would have to travel alone and without their own protection. Both were left at the border. Algeria does not want them to cause trouble here," the official said.

A Western diplomat also said the security services transported the family to an area where access was tightly controlled.

"It is possible that the family will be allowed to move into elite apartments in Algiers at a later time but for the moment they are being kept far away from view in the top officials area in Staoueli," the official said.

A former adviser to the family said that Aisha Gaddafi had surfaced on a Google Talk account since arriving in Algeria, but the family appeared to be cut off from outside communications, the paper said.

The Algerian government has claimed that it is treating the family 'as Algerians' and they would be cordoned off from outside visitors for the foreseeable future.

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