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Libya’s NTC claims it has captured Qaddafi son in family hometown Sirte

Mutassim Qaddafi, a son of Libya’s former leader, has been arrested in his hometown of Sirte, Libya’s National Transitional Council said late Wednesday.

“Mutassim Qaddafi was captured at Sirte and was transferred to Benghazi” in the country’s east, NTC official Abdelkarim Bizama told AFP.

The NTC’s Colonel Abdullah Naker has also confirmed Mutassim’s captured in Sirte.

Libyan fighters reportedly celebrated the news of his arrest on Wednesday night after a significant advance on the Qaddafi hometown throughout the day.

Mutassim served as his father’s national security adviser while the regime still held power.

Although not known as a prominent regime figure, unlike the embattled Muammar Qaddafi’s other sons Saif al-Islam and Khamis, Mutassim was thought to be his father’s successor.

After seizing Sirte’s police headquarters on Tuesday, the National Transitional Council forces spent the day closing in from the east and west on the last redoubts of pro-Qaddafi forces.

Hundreds of NTC combatants in dozens of pickups fired rockets from the west of the Mediterranean city, whose seizure will enable the NTC to declare the liberation of Libya and clear the way for an election timetable.

An AFP correspondent said Sirte’s main square and entire waterfront were under NTC control, along with its fortress-like conference center, university campus and main hospital, all of which the fighters seized on Sunday.

“All our lines are now in place; the area is completely surrounded,” said NTC commander Zubayr Bakush.

As night fell, an AFP correspondent said dozens of NTC vehicles, their horns honking and jubilant occupants firing into the air, converged on the main square to celebrate.

They then withdrew to spend the night in more secure parts of the city when later, the announcement came of Mutassim’s capture.