Libyan rebels are surrounding the toppled leader Muammar Gadhafi, and it is only a matter of time until he is captured or killed, the spokesman for the rebels' military council in Tripoli, Anis Sharif, said Wednesday.

He did not disclose Gadhafi's whereabouts, but said he was still in Libya.

Sharif was quoted by the pro-rebel Free Libya TV as saying that Gadhafi had been tracked using high technology and human intelligence.

"Gadhafi is trapped in a 60-kilometer radius area surrounded by forces of the (rebels') Transitional National Council," he said.

"He can't get out," said Sharif, who added that rebel forces were preparing to either capture him or kill him.

Gadhafi has been on the run since rebels overran his fortified compound in Tripoli in late August, amid conflicting reports about his exact location.

Early Wednesday, Gadhafi's spokesman Moussa Ibrahim was quoted as saying that the former strongman has not fled the country.

The comments came a day after a convoy of Libyan vehicles was reported crossing into neighbouring Niger, amid rumors that it was possibly carrying Gadhafi and high-ranking officials.

"Our leader is still in Libya. He is in good health and in high spirits," Ibrahim told the Damascus-based Al Rai television.

"Our leader will not be reached by those fractious groups," Ibrahim said, referring to the rebel forces who now control most of Libya.

He added that Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam was also in Libya, moving from one place to another.

Niger confirmed that Gadhafi's internal security chief, Mansour Daw, was allowed to enter the country, but gave no details.