Al Jazeera reports that a rebel leader says Khamis has been killed; however, his death has been announced prematurely several times during the conflict.
The New York Times reports that the rebels are gradually establishing themselves as Libya’s official government. On Monday, they signed new energy deals with ENI, Italy’s biggest oil company, and allowed France and Britain, the leading members of the NATO alliance whose airstrikes have supported the rebels’ efforts, to send advance teams into Tripoli to reestablish embassies there. But, says the Guardian, the fact that a convoy of six armored limousines could “drive unmolested down the length of the country, from Bani Walid to the pro-Gaddafi bastion at Sebha, on the edge of the Sahara desert, and then west to the Algerian border, indicates that there is a wide swathe of the central Libyan hinterland” still not in the NTC’s control.
A large number of sub-Saharan migrant workers remain stranded in squalid camps in Tripoli, terrified to leave for home. The workers fear they will be attacked by the rebels after being mistaken for Gaddafi-hired mercenaries from Chad and Sudan. The chairman of the African Union, Jean Ping, has said that the “plight of the stranded migrants was an important reason the union has so far refused to recognize” the NTC and that the Libyan council “seems to confuse black people with mercenaries.”
Tripoli also houses a 45-hectare zoo right next to Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya complex and to the Rixos Hotel, where a number of foreign journalists were holed up when the rebel forces first entered Tripoli over a week ago. Gaddafi’s third son, Saadi, owned nine of the zoo’s eighteen lions and visited them daily, says the Guardian. His second son, Saif al-Islam was so fond of big cats that he took two albino lions with him when he went to study in Austria. While a rocket-propelled grenade fell through the zoo’s hippo enclosure, the three hippos were unharmed, as were Saadi’s lions and baboons, gazelle, pelicans and barbary sheep. Let’s hope they are not forgotten as the new rebel government sets itself up in Tripoli.
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