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Civilians flee pro-Gaddafi town ahead of assault

Sep 13, 2011, 9:28 p.m.
Civilians flee as forces clash in Bani Walid, September 12, 2011. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Osama Abu Ras, a member of the Supreme Security Committee for Tripoli, told Reuters that Gaddafi's forces remained capable of firing missiles and the capital may be a potential target for such attacks.

"We have a very strong (military) front now in our favor but there is a threat of some missiles, including Grad missiles, and rockets. This could be a real threat," he said.

While Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), have remained elusive, three Gaddafi officials were reported to be in NTC custody.

Abdel Hafid Zlitni, a former Central Bank governor and finance minister, was captured in Zawiyah, 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, NTC sources said on Tuesday.

They also said Mohammed Zwei, parliament speaker and former ambassador to Britain had been captured in the past week. Senior military officer Mustapha Kharroubi was also now under the NTC's watch, witnesses said.

Kharroubi is a veteran Gaddafi official and one of the few remaining officers who participated in Gaddafi's 1969 coup. It is believed he handed himself over to NTC officials late last month but this could not immediately be confirmed.

Two of Gaddafi's sons and his only biological daughter have made their way to Algeria. One son is reported to have died in the war and three others, including Saif, are still on the run.

(Additional reporting by William Maclean, Hisham el-Dani and Alexander Dziadosz in Tripoli, Sherine El Madany in Ras Lanuf, Emma Farge in Benghazi and Barry Malone in Tunis; writing by Sylvia Westall; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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