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US denies Gaddafi being in Niger

world Updated: Sep 07, 2011 10:09 IST

IANS
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The US on Tuesday denied media reports suggesting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi could have entered Niger in a convoy, Xinhua reported.

Media reports said that a large convoy of civilian and military vehicles from Libya crossed into Niger late Monday.

The State Department in a statement said the US does not believe that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was among those entering the west African country in a convoy.

Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that US ambassador in Niger had discussed the matter with Niger officials.

"Apparently, a convoy has entered, and it does include some senior members of the Gaddafi regime, but we do not believe that Gaddafi himself was among them," she told reporters during a news briefing.

"We don't have any evidence that Gaddafi is anywhere but in Libya at the moment," she said, adding that the US has not heard about Gaddafi's family members in the convoy.

Nuland noted that the US has strongly urged Niger officials to detain the members of the Gaddafi government who may be subject to prosecution, and confiscate any weapons and state property that were found.

Rebel troops in Libya have launched their manhunt for Gaddafi, having already captured his stronghold in Tripoli Aug 23.

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