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Senior U.S. diplomat holds talks in Tripoli

Sep 14, 2011, 2:34 a.m.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, attends a news conference in Benghazi in this August 20, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori

"Our understanding is, like the others, he's being detained in a state guest house," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in Washington on Tuesday.

"It's essentially a house arrest in this government facility, is our understanding," she said, adding that Niger was working with Libya's interim rulers on the issue.

Niger said on Monday it was keeping Saadi Gaddafi under surveillance but had not detained him. A government source said on Tuesday that he had been transferred from the northern desert town of Agadez to the capital Niamey late on Tuesday.

"He is in a secure place. Like the others he is here on humanitarian grounds. He is not being sought after. He is under surveillance, not imprisoned," the source said, adding that he was not, however, free to move: "You do not have freedom of movement when you are under surveillance."

Gaddafi and his fugitive son Saif al-Islam are wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), though NTC officials have said Libyans would like to try them first.

(Additional reporting by Maria Golovnina near Bani Walid, Libya, Alexander Dziadosz and Joseph Logan in Tripoli, Sherine El Madany in Ras Lanuf, Emma Farge in Benghazi, Mark John and Bate Felix in Niamey and Barry Malone and Sylvia Westall in Tunis; Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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