Tripoli: An amnesty has been announced by Libyan rebels for anyone within Col Muammar Gaddafi’s “inner circle” who captures or kills him, and a reward of $1.7m. Col Gaddafi’s whereabouts are unknown, though rebels have said they think he is still in or around Tripoli.Rebel fighters have fought running battles in the capital, where pockets of pro-Gaddafi resistance remain.
The fugitive leader has vowed in an audio message to fight until victory or martyrdom.
His sprawling Bab al-Aziziya compound was overrun on Tuesday, though firefights within the complex have continued.
Col Gaddafi’s forces are still firmly in control of his birthplace – the strategic coastal city of Sirte – as well as several key bases in southern Libya.
The head of the NTC, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, announced the amnesty offer from the eastern city of Benghazi.
“Gaddafi’s forces and his accomplices will not stop resisting until Gaddafi is caught or killed,” he said.
He added that the NTC supported an offer by a group of businessmen to pay $1.7m for Col Gaddafi, “dead or alive”.
Col Gaddafi also faces an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.
Rebel spokesman Guma el-Gamaty said that those around Col Gaddafi were “heavily implicated with him in crimes against humanity and crimes against the Libyan people”.
“Now there is a huge psychological incentive for them. If they don’t want to go down with him and save their skin, they will be immune from prosecution if they hand him over or kill him,” he said.
The rebel leadership have also offered Col Gaddafi safe passage out of the country, if he renounces his leadership.
Mr Gamaty said such a possibility was remote.
“I think [Col Gaddafi] would rather die or be captured than do that,” he said.
Despite thousands of rebel fighters overrunning Col Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli on Tuesday, they were still meeting fierce resistance from well-armed loyalists a day later.
Col Gaddafi is also believed to retain a strong following in two other cities – Sirte, his hometown 450km (280 miles) to the east of the capital, and Sabha, 650km to the south in the desert.
A rebel spokesman told the BBC that negotiations were going on with local leaders in both locations seeking a peaceful end to the conflict.
The NTC estimates that about 400 people have been killed and thousands injured in the battle for Tripoli since Sunday.
Earlier, Col Gaddafi said in an audio message that his decision to leave his Bab al-Aziziya compound was a “tactical” move.
He said he had “been out a bit in Tripoli discreetly, without being seen”.