On Tuesday, Syrian-based Al-Rai TV, which has become the former regime’s mouthpiece, aired video of Seif al-Islam Gadhafi that it said was taken last week. The same video, however, appears to have been uploaded to YouTube on March 6. A second YouTube video appears to show the same event with an upload date of Feb. 27, less than two weeks after the Libyan uprising began.
Seif al-Islam Gadhafi’s last known public appearance was on Aug. 23 in Tripoli. Like his father, he has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity for the regime’s bloody efforts to crush the uprising.
Revolutionary fighters also have been unable to rout regime forces from Sirte, on the Mediterranean coast. Libyan fighters pounded regime positions in the city with rocket and artillery fire on Wednesday, sending a black cloud of smoke over Sirte’s low-slung skyline.
Dozens of trucks mounted with missiles, anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank weapons streamed toward the front lines on the western edge of Sirte, and NATO warplanes roared overhead.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Royal Air Force and NATO aircraft “were very active” over Sirte on Tuesday. The alliance usually only gives details about strikes the next day.
Maj. Gen. Nick Pope said Tornado GR4s twice conducted precision strikes on a large ammunition and vehicle storage depot that has been serving as one of the main bases for Col. Gadhafi’s garrison within the city.
He said six laser- and GPS-guided Paveway bombs were dropped, scoring direct hits that destroyed multiple military facilities within the depot, including storage bunkers.
Associated Press writers Hadeel al-Shalchi in Tripoli and Cassandra Vinograd in London contributed to this report.
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