London: One of the sons of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is in hiding on an island off the coast of Venezuela, a politician in the South American country has claimed.
Orlando Fernandez Medina said that sources within the Venezuelan government had told him that one of Gaddafi’s sons arrived on the island of Margarita around two days ago, the Telegraph reported.
Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for 41 years, has seven sons including Saif al-Islam, who has a PhD from the London School of Economics and recently appeared on television to warn of a possible civil war, and Mutassim, who is Libya’s National Security Adviser.
Medina said that it had not been disclosed to him which of the dictator’s sons had flown into exile.
It was also reported by the Venezuelan media that one of Gaddafi’s wives and four of her daughters were also now on Margarita Island.
Libya has been in the grip of turmoil since anti-Gaddafi protests began on February 15.
Two days later, the government launched a violent crackdown on protesters, with witnesses reporting that mercenaries had been hired to patrol the streets and fire on citizens indiscriminately with machine guns and heavy weapons.
The use of air attacks against civilian targets has also been reported by witnesses and air force personnel who have refused to carry out those orders.
Meanwhile, Tripoli remains under lockdown, amid reports that protesters have called for anti-government forces to march on the city after Friday prayers.