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Gaddafi son 'trying to surrender'

One of Muammar Gaddafi's sons has tried to negotiate his own surrender, according to the rebel commander in Tripoli.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi rang Abdel Hakim Belhaj to try to work out how he might give in.

Mr Belhaj said al-Saadi first called him on Tuesday and asked whether his safety could be guaranteed. He said he told him he would not be harmed but he would be treated according to the law.

Mr Belhaj said al-Saadi called back again, but he missed the call. He said: "We told him 'Don't fear for your life. We will guarantee your rights as a human being, and will deal with you humanely,'."

If the offer is confirmed - the rebels have previously claimed to have captured Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, who hours later turned up free - the surrender would be a major blow to Gaddafi's crumbling regime.

The rebels have been pressing toward Gaddafi's last major stronghold, his hometown of Sirte, and loyalists now only control a handful of major cities.

Mr Belhaj said Al-Saadi told him he had not killed anyone, and that "he was not against the people."

"I told him 'This is good. What is important for us is not to shed Libyan blood. For the members of the regime to surrender is the best way to do this.'"

The commander said he knows al-Saadi's whereabouts, but prefers to negotiate a surrender.

His comments came hours after Gaddafi's chief spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, called journalists to reiterate the senior Gaddafi's offer to send al-Saadi to negotiate with the rebels and form a transitional government. The rebels have previously rejected such offers.

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