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Gaddafi son in Niger, says official

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

Al-Saadi, the fugitive ruler's 37-year-old son, entered Niger in a convoy with nine other people, said Niger Justice Minister Amadou Morou.

The vehicles are travelling south toward 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 Nigerien military," Morou told reporters.

Since last week, several convoys carrying senior officials from the former Libyan regime as well as civilians and soldiers have made their way across the porous border into Niger. Among them were several of Gaddafi's top military officers, including his chief of security, and the head of his southern command.

Morou said that al-Saadi "has no status at all" in Niger, indicating that he has not been granted refugee status, which is guarantees certain rights.

Niger has faced increasing scrutiny for allowing members of Gaddafi's inner circle on to its soil.

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