Gaddafi likely wounded, fled Tripoli
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was likely wounded in NATO air strikes and has probably left Tripoli, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Friday.
However, Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim called the news "nonsense," adding that: "The leader is in high morale. He's in good spirits. He is leading the country day by day. He hasn't been harmed at all."
Frattini told reporters that he received his information from Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the Catholic bishop in Tripoli. "I tend to give credence to the comment of the bishop of Tripoli, Monsignor Martinelli, who has been in close contact over recent weeks, when he told us that Gaddafi is very probably outside Tripoli and is probably also wounded. We don't know where or how," Frattini said, Reuters reported.
"It's nonsense," Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said in Tripoli. "The leader is in high morale. He's in good spirits. He is leading the country day by day. He hasn't been harmed at all."
Frattini said that he did not believe that Libyan TV footage of Gaddafi greeting tribal leaders on Wednesday was authentic, Corriere della Sera reported.
"I strongly doubted that those images were taken on that day and above all in Tripoli," Frattini reportedly said, adding: "The international pressure has likely led Gaddafi to decide to seek shelter in a safe location. I tend to think that he fled Tripoli, not Libya."
NATO, meanwhile, repeated that it was not targeting individuals in bombing raids that have hit Libyan capital and according to Reuters said that the alliance had no way to confirm Frattini's comments.
"We can't verify that as we don't have any way of tracking his movements," the official said. "We don't have boots on the ground."
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.