More of Gaddafi's top officials defect

Friday, April 1, 2011

Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Image: Antônio Milena/ABr.

A number of new reports suggest that more of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's inner circle have deserted him.

Al Jazeera reports that a group of top officials who "headed to Tunisia for talks have decided to stay there". Among the defectors reported are the head of Libya's Popular Commitee, Mohammad Abu Al Qassim Al Zawi, and Abu Zayed Dordah, Libya's prime minister from 1990 to 1994. Gaddafi's Europe minister and head of intelligence have also defected according to reports. Security sources suggest that the total number of defectors could be up to a dozen.

Yesterday Ali al-Treiki, foreign minister of Gaddafi's cabinet, announced he had cut ties with the leader, while officials in London have been checking reports that the deputy head of Gaddafi's mission in London, Tarek Khalid Ibrahim, is planning on defection as well.

This latest breakthrough follows the defection of Libya's foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, who abandoned Gaddafi's regime and entered the United Kingdom on Wednesday.