Libyan official Saturday confirmed Muammar Gadhafi's second son Saif al-Islam was captured as he traveled with aides in a convoy in Libya's southern desert.
Saif al-Islam, son of the late former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, sits after his capture, with his fingers wrapped in bandages and his legs covered with a blanket, at an undisclosed location, in this photograph aired on Free Libya TV on November 19, 2011. [China Daily]
Bobkar Bobmala, a military officer of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), or the interim government, announced that they "had captured Saif" at a press conference in Tripoli earlier Saturday, without providing more information about the capture.
Saif al-Islam, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, was transferred by plane to Zintan, a city about 100 km southwest of Tripoli.
The European Union (EU) on Saturday urged NTC to safely deliver Libyan former leader Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam to justice.
"It is of utmost importance that Saif al-Islam's safety is now ensured and his due process rights guaranteed so that he can be delivered to justice, in accordance with Libya's international obligations and the National Transitional Council's public commitments to respect the rule of law," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in her statement following the report of Saif's capture.
Saif's capture just over a month after his father was killed leaves only former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi wanted by the ICC, which indicted the three men for in June for unleashing a campaign of murder and torture to suppress the uprising against Gadhafi that broke out in mid-February.
At Tripoli, thousands of residents Saturday took to the streets to celebrate the capture of Saif, waving flags and guns.
"This is a historic moment for the new born Libya," said a soldier named Assad Arabi. "He and his father killed so many people, now it's time for them to pay back."
Muammar Gaddafi and his another son, Mutassim, were captured alive by NTC forces in his hometown Sirte in late October, but both died shortly in murky circumstances.