CAIRO: A large Libyan military convoy drove into desert border town of Agadez in northern Niger today amid speculation that toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi or his sons may be on board.
A convoy of between 200 to 250 military vehicles comprising officers from Libya’s southern army battalions crossed from Libya into Algeria before crossing into Niger, Al Jazeera reported.
Quoting Niger military sources, the Arab news agency reported that large number of pro-Gaddafi Taureg tribal fighters including their chief Rhissa Ag Boula were also in the convoy.
A private TV station reported that a large convoy had entered Agadez from southern Libya and headed at high speed towards the Niger capital of Niamey.
Other Arabic news channels said that the convoy which may include Muammar Gaddafi and his eldest son Saif-al Islam might be headed towards Burkina Faso, a landlocked west African nation which has offered Gaddafi and his family asylum.
Reports of the convoy entering Niger came as the officials confirmed that head of Gaddafi’s security brigades Mansour Daw along with 10 other Libyans had crossed into Niger on Sunday.
Al-Jazeera quoting French military sources said that the commander of Libya’s southern Army Gen Ali Khana was also in Niger, not far from the Libyan border.
Burkina Faso, a former recipient of Gaddafi’s largesses offered the toppled Libyan dictator exile about two week backs, but has also recognised the new Transitional regime in Tripoli.
‘Telegraph’ reports that rebel military leaders said the Bani Walid residents revealed both sons had fled, leaving behind a contingent of about 100 loyalist troops and local allies, who have taken up positions in private houses in the wake of rebels threatening to attack the town.
“The main Gaddafi brigade left with Saif al-Islam.We think there are 70 troops left there in the town, but there are other people with them,” rebels’ chief negotiator Abdullah Kenshil said.
The National Transitional Council has been trying to negotiate a peaceful end to the Libyan conflict with Gaddafi regime’s Chief Spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim, who, according to Kenshil, was still living in the town.