Rome: The most senior Catholic official in Tripoli on Sunday confirmed on Italian television that Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi's son Seif al-Arab had been killed and appealed for a ceasefire.
'I confirm the death of the son of the leader,' Giovanni Martinelli, the bishop of Tripoli, told the Sky TG24 channel. Television pictures showed him standing with other religious dignitaries in front of three bodies covered in shrouds and flags.
He said he was taken to the morgue by officials of various local churches and added that they then all said a prayer. Bishop Martinelli, 69, said he felt the anger of all those present but added that the dignitaries thanked him for his 'gesture of solidarity'.
An early critic of the Western military campaign in Libya, he appealed to Nato, the United Nations and the international community to end the bombing of Libya. 'I ask, please, out of respect for the pain due to the loss of a son, a gesture of humanity towards the leader (Gaddafi),' he said.
The Libyan strongman had up until now protected the Christians and Catholics of Libya, he added. 'He is a great friend and we must help him find a form of dialogue' with the international community, said the bishop.
First Published: Monday, May 02, 2011, 10:19