Tripoli: Fallen dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam has said that he was still in Tripoli and that the fight against rebels who captured the capital last week would go on.
Denting the festive mood as Libyans celebrated their first end of Ramadan feast in 42 years free of Gaddafi's yoke, Seif al-Islam said on Wednesday that his father was fine and was still fighting.
But his message of defiance, aired just hours before world powers were to open a major conference on Libya in Paris, came as another Gaddafi son, Saadi, expressed readiness to surrender and the rebels announced the capture of Gaddafi's Foreign Minister Abdelati al-Obeidi.
"We are fine. The leadership is fine and the leader is fine," Seif al-Islam told the Damascus-based Al-Rai television station in an audio message.
"We are happy, we are drinking coffee and tea with our companions and we are fighting.”
"I am talking to you from a suburb of Tripoli. We want to reassure the Libyan people that we are still here. The resistance continues and victory is near."
Seif al-Islam warned the rebels against any attack on his father's hometown of Sirte, the last major centre in loyalist hands.
"They're welcome if they think the battle of Sirte will be a walkover. Twenty thousand armed men are in the town and ready" to fight, he told Al-Rai.
The television station 10 days ago broadcast messages from Gaddafi himself, after Libyan state television fell into rebel hands with their capture of the capital.
There has been no firm word on the fugitive strongman's whereabouts since then, although there has been speculation that he is holed up in Sirte on the Mediterranean coast, in Bani Walid, a desert town to its southwest, or in the outskirts of the capital.