Moutism Gaddafi arrested in Sirte?

Moutism Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) in Moscow on October 29, 2008.
Credit: Dmitry Kostyukov

There are conflicting news reports on the fate of Muammar Gaddafi's son, Moutism (also spelled Mutassim) Gaddafi.

Reuters has reported that Moutism has been arrested as he attempted to flee Sirte, the hometown of his father, in a car with his family. The report cites officials with the National Transitional Council.

"He was arrested today in Sirte," Colonel Abdullah Naker told Reuters.

After the news of his arrest spread, residents of Tripoli took to the streets to celebrate, reports News 24. It states that the sky was filled Thursday morning with celebratory gunfire and fireworks.

"Now we have one Gaddafi," Mohammed, a 23-year-old engineer, told News 24. "Soon we will have the old man Gaddafi and all the Gaddafis."

However, BBC reports that a military commander denied the claims of Moutism's arrest.

News of the arrest has been met with skepticism particularly because there have been false reports of high-level arrests before.

Moutism's arrest would be significant because of his role in his father's regime. He is a senior officer in Gaddafi's army and was a national security adviser, BBC states.

GlobalPost's Tracey Shelton reports from Sirte that 42 bodies -- "beaten, bound and executed" -- were found on property identified as a local man as belonging to Moutism.

"The bodies were discovered in four locations in the fields behind Moutism’s home. Two groups lay along a concrete fence, appearing as if they had been lined up and executed. Another group lay scattered in a field among cattle. Rebel fighters held their noses against the smell, and looked at the bodies with anger, sadness and disgust," Shelton writes.

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