Gadhafi Son's Bizarre Drop-in Bad News for Rebels

Troops appear energized after Seif al-Islam's appearance
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 7:59 AM CDT
Gadhafi Son's Bizarre Drop-in Buoys Loyalists
Moammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam makes the victory sign as he appears at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

(Newser) – Fresh fighting has erupted in Tripoli today after Moammar Gadhafi's son turned up free, a bizarre twist that seems to have energized forces still loyal to the regime. The AP reports thick clouds of smoke, fierce street battles, and heavy fighting around Gadhafi's main compound. The rebels maintain that they control most of Tripoli, but a rep warns that pro-Gadhafi brigades sit on Tripoli's outskirts and could "be in the middle of the city in half an hour." And the AP notes the rebels seem stunned that Seif al-Islam (who yesterday told reporters "we are going to hit the hottest spots in Tripoli") is free.

The Wall Street Journal doesn't paint a prettier picture for the rebels, who it says seem to have up and left much of the area they initially took. It reports they now control a "slice" of land that runs from the western edge toward the city center. It notes that rebels say they do control some neighborhoods inside the city, but roads to those neighborhoods remain insecure. (Read more Libya stories.)

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