Algeria Denies Report That Gadhafi Entered in Convoy From Libya

Denial follows Egyptian report quoting Libyan rebel official as saying Gadhafi, or his senior officials, fled Libya in a convoy of armored cars.

Algeria's Foreign Ministry denied on Saturday a report that a convoy of six Mercedes cars had crossed its border from Libya.

Egypt's state MENA news agency had quoted a source from the rebel Military Council in the border city of Ghadames as saying the convoy of armored cars crossed the frontier on Friday morning protected by the commander of a desert nomadic military unit that had operated under Muammar Gadhafi.

Muammar Gadhafi – Haaretz Archive
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The agency quoted the source as saying that the convoy may have been transporting senior Libyan officials or even Gadhafi himself.

"This information (about the convoy entering Algeria) has no basis and we categorically deny it," Algeria's state APS news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

Algeria's Foreign Ministry denied on Friday that it was linking its recognition of Libya's rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) to a commitment from the council to crack down on Islamist militants.

A government source in Algeria had told Reuters on Thursday that it would not yet grant recognition to the NTC, and that it wanted to be certain that Libya's rulers were engaged in fighting al-Qaida's north African wing.

Earlier in the day, Egypt's state news agency quoted a Libyan rebel source as saying a convoy of six armored Mercedes cars which crossed from Libya into Algeria may have been carrying Gadhafi.

The chairman of Libya's rebel National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, later said the rebels have no concrete information on the location of Gadhafi or his sons.

Rebel fighters who took control of the Libyan capital this week say Gadhafi and his sons are in hiding and have offered a $1.3 million reward and amnesty from prosecution for anyone who kills or captures him.