Conflict & Justice

Muammar al-Gaddafi's daughter gives birth in Algeria: report

Muammar al-Gaddafi's daughter Aisha has apparently given birth to a baby girl, just one day after fleeing to Algeria from Libya.

Algerian government officials say the birth occurred early on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports. On Monday, Algerian officials announced that Aisha had crossed the border along with Col. Gaddafi's wife, two of his sons and several of his grandchildren.

The Libyan rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC) has accused Algeria — which has maintained a policy of strict neutrality regarding Libya — of an act of aggression for admitting the Gaddafi family members. A council spokesman told the BBC that the NTC plans to use "all legal means to seek the return of these criminals and to bring them to justice in Libya."

But Algeria's United Nations envoy defended the move in comments to the BBC published Tuesday.

"[I]n many parts of the Sahara region it's mandatory by law to provide assistance to anyone in the desert," Mourad Benmehidi said.

Algerian government officials told The Wall Street Journal that they had allowed the Gaddafis to move into a residence in Algiers for "humanitarian reason," among them the fact that Aisha was pregnant.

Until February, Aisha al-Gaddafi served as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Development Program. In April, her four-month old daughter was killed during a NATO attack on one of the family's compounds in Tripol, according to the Journal.

The whereabouts of Gaddafi himself remain unknown. The Journal reports that recent heavy fighting near the strongman's hometown of Sirte has led to speculation that "the embattled leader may be making a last stand there." 

On Tuesday, NTC leaders gave forces still loyal to Gaddafi an ultimatum to surrender towns still under their control.

"By Saturday, if there are no peaceful indications for implementing this, we will decide this matter militarily. We do not wish to do so but we cannot wait longer," NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil told a news conference.