Gaddafi likely wounded and not in Tripoli: Italy
Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he speaks at a Tripoli hotel in this still image from a video by Libyan TV released May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Libyan TV via Reuters TV
By Paolo Biondi
LA BAGNAIA, Italy | Fri May 13, 2011 12:48pm EDT
(Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has likely been wounded in western airstrikes and has probably left Tripoli, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Friday.
A Libyan government spokesman immediately denied that Gaddafi had been harmed.
Frattini told reporters that he believed what he had been told by Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the Catholic bishop in Tripoli, that Gaddafi had probably left Tripoli and had probably even been wounded by NATO airstrikes.
"I tend to give credence to the comment of the bishop of Tripoli, Monsignor Martinelli, who has been in close contact over recent weeks, when he told us that Gaddafi is very probably outside Tripoli and is probably also wounded. We don't know where or how," Frattini said.
"It's nonsense," Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said in Tripoli. "The leader is in high morale. He's in good spirits. He is leading the country day by day. He hasn't been harmed at all."
Asked about the Libyan denial, Frattini said he still believed what Martinelli said.