Gathafi son shown alive on TV to refute rebel claims
TRIPOLI - Khamis, the son of embattled Libyan leader Moamer Gathafi, has been shown on state television just days after rebels battling the regime reported his death, which Tripoli denied at the time.
The broadcaster showed footage of what it said was a visit on Tuesday by the uniformed 28-year-old, Gathafi's youngest son, to a hospital to meet "victims of NATO raids."
It was the first time he had been seen in public since August 5, when a rebel spokesman said a NATO attack on an operations centre in the western town of Zliten had killed 32 people including Khamis, a feared military commander.
"Overnight there was an aircraft attack by NATO on the Gathafi operations room in Zliten and there are around 32 Gathafi troops killed. One of them is Khamis," Mohammed Zawawi said at the time.
Zawawi cited as sources spies within loyalist ranks and intercepted radio chatter.
But a spokesman in Tripoli for the Gathafi regime said the claim was untrue.
"Basically the news about the killing of Khamis by a NATO air strike are very dirty lies to cover the murder of civilians in the peaceful city," Mussa Ibrahim said.
Khamis Gathafi trained at a Russian military academy and commands the eponymous and much-feared Khamis Brigade, one of the regime's toughest fighting units.
The brigade took part in the assault on the rebel enclave of Misrata, which has been bombarded from three sides and seen some of the fiercest fighting of Libya's civil war.