Rebels Storm Gadhafi Compound

Celebration ensues as fighting continues
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 12:32 PM CDT
Libyan Rebels Raid Moammar Gadhafi Compound in Tripoli
A rebel fighter climbs on a statue inside Moammar Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli in this image taken from TV on Tuesday Aug. 23, 2011.   (AP Photo/APTN)

Hundreds of rebels have stormed Moammar Gadhafi’s compound today, busting open its gates and pouring in, some riding golf carts, according to an AP reporter. They celebrated their success with gunfire; the head of a statue was pulled off as one rebel climbed atop another iconic structure: a giant hand crumpling a US fighter jet. The New York Times reports that CNN footage captured images of fighters exiting one building with what were allegedly the Gadhafi family's medical files.

What they have not emerged with is Moammar Gadhafi. Though rebels were searching room to room, the Times reports it has no indication Gadhafi was present. In an unconfirmed and rather odd report, the Russian head of the World Chess Federation says Gadhafi called him today and told him by phone that he is "alive and well and still in Tripoli"; Gadhafi’s onetime right-hand man, who has since defected, says he believes the leader is in hiding on the outskirts of the city. (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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