Rebel leaders in Libya have demanded authorities in Algeria extradite Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s wife and three of his children, after the group entered Algeria early Monday.
The Algerian Foreign Ministry announced that Gadhafi’s wife Safiya, daughter Aisha, and two of his sons, Mohammad and Hannibal, had all crossed into the country by car. They said the spouses of the Libyan leader’s children and their offspring had also arrived.
Officials in Algiers said they reported the information to the United Nations Secretary-General and Libya’s opposition Transitional National Council. Rebel officials have previously accused Algeria – Libya’s only North African neighbor that has not recognized the council – of backing Gadhafi and providing him with mercenaries to suppress the revolt. Algeria has denied the charge.
The Libyan leader has not been seen since rebel fighters seized the capital last week, but the White House said the U.S. government has no indication that Gadhafi has left Libya. The whereabouts of Gadhafi’s other sons, who played important roles in Libya’s military and economic life, also remains unknown.
Meanwhile, a U.S. human rights group says it has uncovered evidence of possible war crimes by pro-Gadhafi forces in Misrata.
Physicians for Human Rights said in a report released Tuesday that forces loyal to Gadhafi carried out murder, torture, rape and forced internment. The report says the troops forced civilians to act as a human shieldS to guard military munitions from NATO attacks, and blocked civilians from receiving humanitarian aid.
The group said its findings are based on interviews in Misrata in June, and said it was unable to confirm allegations against rebel fighters and NATO made by Gadhafi officials. It also calls on the Transitional National Council to establish rule of law in Libya to prevent further bloodshed, and to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court.
War crimes accusations
The report comes days after Human Rights Watch said pro-Gadhafi forces committed possible war crimes as rebels moved into Tripoli last week. They say researchers have documented more than 110 corpses in four locations in Tripoli. Many of them appear to have been killed execution-style either while in detention or with their hands bound.
The World Food Program said Tuesday it is sending 600 metric tons of food to Tripoli along with other urgent supplies, including water, medicine and fuel to help people affected by the fighting. The group says the food will be distributed by the Libyan Red Crescent and help feed 35,000 people for one month.
In Libya Monday, rebel forces drew closer to Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, as NATO carried out airstrikes in the area against radar sites, missile systems and armed vehicles. A rebel spokesman Sunday said anti-government forces will seize Sirte by force if negotiations with tribal leaders for its surrender fail.
Leaders from governments backing NATO operations over Libya are meeting in Paris Thursday to discuss ways to help Libyans now that the opposition has gained control over most of the country. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is among those who will attend the talks.
France said it dispatched a team to Tripoli Monday to reopen its embassy after closing it for six months as rebels fought for control of the country.
The International Organization for Migration said Monday its ship evacuated about 850 stranded migrants and displaced Libyans from Tripoli one day earlier. voa