Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Gaddafi's daughter has baby in exile

A giant portrait of Gaddafi is riddled with bullets (AP)

Hunted throughout her homeland and forced to flee into exile across a dangerous desert border, Aisha, the daughter of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi paused somewhere in the Sahara to have a baby.

The dramatic birth of Gaddafi's granddaughter, less than 24 hours after her mother and other relatives escaped Libyan territory into Algeria, lends a human dimension to the dictator's downfall and the mystery of his whereabouts.

The child's name and identity of her father remain a mystery. Her birth in exile was disclosed by the Algerian Health Ministry on Tuesday, but an official provided no other information, including exactly where it happened.

Algerian news reports had said Aisha's pregnancy was one reason for Algeria's controversial decision to take the family in.

The young mother (right) had fled her mansion in Tripoli, just hours ahead of advancing Libyan rebels. Rebels trashed and looted her home and those of her siblings.

Aisha lived in a two-story mansion with an indoor pool and sauna, where DVDs included action and mystery films, but also one on getting back in shape after childbirth.

The presence of small children was felt everywhere in the house. A large play room was strewn with toys. Party hats and streamers were in a pile in an entrance hall, and her library contained a number of children's books.

Yesterday, Libya's new rebel government declared that Gaddafi forces continuing to offer resistance will face full-scale military assaults unless they surrender by Saturday.

The stark message is aimed primarily at Sirte, the dictator's birthplace and the biggest loyalist stronghold left in the country. It also affects other pockets of supporters under siege, including the towns of Sabha and Bani Walid.

Meanwhile, rebel officials in Tripoli have announced that one of the Libyans suspected of involvement in the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher has been killed.

Abdulqadir al-Baghdadi, who was an official in the Libyan embassy in London at the time of the 1984 murder, was shot in the head.

The Daily Telegraph reported that al-Baghdadi was named as a co-conspirator in the CPS files.

Matouk Mohammed Matouk is the only suspect believed to be still alive.

Profile

Gaddafi's only biological daughter, Aisha had fled with Gaddafi's wife Safia, and two of her brothers, Hannibal and Mohammed, entering southern Algeria from the Libyan border on Monday, the Algerian Foreign Ministry said.

Aisha is a lawyer in her mid-30s who helped in the defense of toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the trial that led to his hanging.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk