Qaddafi family escape to Algeria provides hints for leader's hiding spot

The focus of the hunt for Muammar Qaddafi could shift from Sirte to Bani Walid.

• The latest updates on Muammar Qaddafi and developments in Libya's war

Details about how Muammar Qaddafi's family members escaped to Algeria reveal another possible hiding spot for the former Libyan strongman. The Guardian reports today that the family members now in Algeria fled from the town of Bani Walid, southeast of Tripoli.

The escape was made in a convoy of six armored Mercedes limousines, once part of an extensive government fleet, which departed from the town of Bani Walid, the stronghold of Libya's biggest tribe, the Warfallah, where significant remnants of the regime are holding out.

Guma al-Gamaty, the NTC's UK coordinator, said the motorcade was carrying a total of 32 Qaddafi family members, including the ousted leader's second wife, Safia, daughter Aisha and two sons, Hannibal and Mohammed, and reached the Algerian border on Saturday.

That they were taking refuge there reveals another pocket of Qaddafi support that the rebels need to keep an eye on. Mr. Gamaty told the Guardian that the interim government now thinks Mr. Qaddafi is hiding in the vicinity of Bani Walid and has dispatched rebel forces and Western intelligence and special forces to the area.

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