Gadhafi Son Vows to Fight to the Death, Urges Libyans to Wage War of Attrition

In a statement broadcast on Al-Rai television channel, Saif al-Islam says his father Muammar Gadhafi is fine.

Muammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam vowed Wednesday to fight to the death, insisting nobody still loyal to the regime would surrender to the rebels. He said he was speaking from the suburbs of Tripoli and insisted his father was fine.

Loyalist leaders, meeting in the Gadhafi stronghold of Bani Walid have insisted "We are going to die in our land," Saif al-Islam said in an audio statement was broadcast on Al-Rai television station. "No one is going to surrender."

Saif al-Islam - AP - 23.8.11

His statement came shortly after another statement by his brother, al-Saadi. Al-Saadi offered a softer tone, saying he's ready to mediate talks with the rebels in order to stop the bloodshed.

"The most important is to stop the bloodshed," al-Saadi told Al-Arabiya.

A rebel commander in Tripoli, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, said earlier Wednesday that al-Saadi was trying to negotiate terms for his own surrender. When asked about that report, al-Saadi said he had talked to Belhaj and several other rebel officials, but there was confusion over the exact details of the offer. He said he was ready to surrender but only to stop the bloodshed.

The dueling audio statements came as the rebel forced pressed toward two of the loyalist main strongholds, Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte and the desert town of Bani Walid. The rebels also say they are closing in on the elder Gadhafi, who has been on the run since rebels swept into the capital last week. Belhaj said earlier that Muammar Gadhafi is most likely no longer in Tripoli.