18 May 2011

Libya: Gaddafi’s daughter and wife cross into Tunisia

Muammar Gaddafi’s wife and daughter crossed over the Libyan border into Tunisia several days ago, according to reports.

Libya: Gaddafi's daughter and wife cross into Tunisia

Gaddafi’s wife Safia and his only daughter Aisha came to Tunisia with a Libyan delegation on 14 May and are on the island of Djerba in the south, several news organisations are reporting.

It did not appear that the two women had been travelling with Shokri Ghanem, Libya’s top oil official, who is believed to have also crossed into Tunisia and appears to have defected.

In April, Libya’s former Prime Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi, told Channel 4 News Foreign Correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, vouched for Ghanem, who was reported to have either attempted, or indeed had, defected.

“We are all here,” he said.

The news of Aisha’s reported departure comes after the Libyan government said NATO air strikes had killed one of Aisha’s children, along with Gaddafi’s 29-year-old son Saif al-Arab and two other young grandchildren.

The other two – both under three years old – were the children of Saif al-Arab and Aisha’s siblings Hannibal and Mohammed Gaddafi.

The announcement of the deaths triggered attacks by angry crowds on the British and French embassies and the US diplomatic mission in Tripoli, and accusations from the Libyan officials that NATO had been trying to assassinate Gaddafi.