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Libya asks Niger for Gaddafi's son

Libya has demanded Niger hand over one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons who is under house arrest in the neighbouring African nation after he warned in a television interview that his homeland was facing a new uprising.

Mohammed Hareizi, spokesman for the ruling National Transitional Council, said that Niger must extradite Al-Saadi Gaddafi and other ex-regime officials to "preserve its relationship and interests" in Libya.

The demand came days before the first anniversary of the February 17 start of the uprising that led to months of civil war and the eventual ousting and death of the long-time Libyan leader.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi and more than 30 other loyalists fled to Niger after Tripoli fell to rebels in September.

Niger justice minister Morou Amadou confirmed the demand had been received but said Niger's government has refused to extradite al-Saadi and the others to Libya because they risk being killed. However, Amadou said the government would agree to extradite al-Saadi to the Hague upon request by the International Criminal Court.

Gaddafi's son told Al-Arabiya TV in a telephone interview that supporters of his father's ousted regime "are suffering tremendously" in Libyan prisons at the hands of the country's new rulers. He also said his return to Libya was imminent.

He said he is in contact with people in Libya on a daily basis and claimed "70% of Libyans are unhappy with the current circumstances. They are ready to co-operate to change these conditions".

Gaddafi's son pointed to the proliferation of weapons in the oil-rich North African nation as many former rebels have refused to lay down their arms. He said Libyans were tired of widespread chaos.

"There is an uprising that will happen everywhere in the country," he told the station. "This will be a new popular uprising."

He called the new leadership a group of gangsters who are unable to control the various militias in the country. But he also said he was in touch with members of the NTC, which is governing the country until presidential elections can be held, and militia members. The NTC denied it has been in touch with Gaddafi or any of the former regime officials.

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