Gaddafi son captured in Libyan desert
Saif al-Islam found while supporters tried to smuggle him out of country
Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, was captured in a firefight Saturday by revolutionary fighters in the Libyan desert after weeks on the run, senior military commanders told CNN. He was reportedly injured during the firefight but is in good health.
The Washington Post reported he was captured while his supporters tried to smuggle him out of Libya.
Senior military commanders told CNN that Saif al-Islam, who was known as Gaddafi's favored son and was a prominent member of the ruling family, was captured early Saturday in an area between the southwestern town of Obari and the southern town of Sabha.
Othman Mliegta, commander of the Al Qa'aq brigades, said he had been told that Saif al-Islam was slightly injured in the clashes that took place when the fighters attempted to capture him but is in good health.
He is now being held in Zintan, which is in the Western mountains.
Saif al-Islam has been wanted for trial by the International Criminal Court, which confirmed his arrest Saturday.
"We are in touch and coordinating with the Libyan ministry of justice to ensure that any solution with regards to the arrest of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi will be in accordance with the law," ICC spokeswoman Florence Olara told CNN.
Saif al-Islam has been on the run since late October when Libya's revolutionary forces took control of Sirte and captured and then quickly killed his father, Muammar Gaddafi. The captured and killing of Gaddafi ended a months long battle between Gaddafi's loyalists and rebels — now known as revolutionary forces — assisted by NATO air strikes for control of Libya.
Libya's capital Tripoli erupted in celebration after a news conference Saturday announcing Saif al-Islam's capture, the Washington Post reported. There was "celebratory gunfire, singing and dancing."
Scenes of joy broke out in the streets as the news was announced on Libyan television, and people hung out of the windows of their cars, honking horns, flashing lights and flying the red, black and green revolutionary tricolor. Cries of “Allahu Akbar” filled the air as crowds hugged each other and wept.
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.