Ex-Libyan Leader's Son 'Flees To Niger'

One of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's sons has entered northern Niger in a convoy of nine people, according to the country's justice minister.

Amadou Morou said that Al Saadi Gaddafi had arrived in the country via the northern desert separating the landlocked African nation from Libya.

Mr Morou said Nigerien soldiers who had been on patrol had intercepted the Libyan leader's 37-year-old son.

Speaking at a news conference, he said: "I wish to announce to you that one of Gaddafi's sons, Al Saadi Gaddafi, was intercepted in the north of Niger."

He said that Al Saadi had been travelling in a convoy along with nine other people.

The vehicles were travelling in the direction of the desert outpost of Agadez, where other fleeing Libyan loyalists are believed to be holed up in a hotel.

"We were not informed of their arrival," added Mr Morou.

Since last week, several convoys carrying senior officials of the former Libyan regime as well as civilians and soldiers have made their way across the border into Niger.

Among them were several of Gaddafi's top military officers, including his chief of security and the head of his southern command.

Mr Morou said that Al Saadi "has no status at all" in Niger and expected him to be transferred to the capital, Niamey, early next week.

Al Saadi Gaddafi was a special forces commander , film producer and a former captain of Libya's football team before the fall of his father's regime.

He is Col Gaddafi's third son.

It comes as forces loyal to the deposed dictator continue to put up fierce resistance to a push by rebel forces.

Anti-Gaddafi troops have been sending reinforcements to the town of Bani Walid - but they are being held up by rockets and mortar fire.