Tripoli: In a fresh blow to the falling dictator, the second in command of Libya’s intelligence services and fugitive ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s health minister have joined anti-regime forces. During interviews aired on al Arabiya television on Wednesday, the deputy director of foreign security in the Libyan intelligence service, General Khalifah Mohammed Ali, and the country’s Health Minister Mohammed Hijazi, declared their allegiance to revolutionary forces.A growing number of Libyan officials have switched sides since a revolution seeking to overthrow the Libyan regime began in mid-February.
General Ali called on other generals and soldiers to join the revolution.
“I put myself in the service of the nation and call on generals and soldiers who are the sons of Libya to join the 17th February revolution,” said Gen. Ali in an interview with the Dubai-based satellite channel.
In a separate interview later on Wednesday, Hijazi said he had been planning to leave Gaddafi’s health ministry for two months. “But I did not feel safe for my life,” he said, adding that things have changed as the fighters have entered the capital Tripoli.
This comes as fighting rages between the opposition forces and remnants of Libyan troops still loyal to Gaddafi.
Revolutionaries have reportedly taken control of an army base west of Tripoli while fighting is underway in eastern as well as in a southern Tripoli district, where Libya’s embattled dictator is probably hiding.
Fighters said there were dozens of pro-regime snipers around Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound, forcing the people to stay indoors.
The whereabouts of Gaddafi himself is still not clear.
The National Transitional Council has announced an amnesty and a reward of two million Libyan dinars ($1.6 million) for anyone in Gaddafi’s inner circle who turns him in or kills him.