Libya: Qaddafi son dead, another son captured

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, appears in front of journalists at his father's residential complex in the Libyan capital of Tripoli Aug. 23, 2011. AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 2:48 p.m. ET

SIRTE, Libya - Libya's information minister says Muammar Qaddafi's son Muatassim has been killed in Sirte. At the same time, the country's justice minister said another Qaddafi son, his one-time heir apparent Saif al-Islam, was captured and wounded by revolutionary fighters.

Muammar Qaddafi, who ruled Libya with a dictatorial grip for 42 years until he was ousted by his own people in an uprising that turned into a bloody civil war, was killed Thursday by revolutionary fighters overwhelming his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.

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Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam told The Associated Press by telephone that Muatassim Qaddafi, his father's former national security adviser, was dead.

Jusitce minister Mohammad al-Alagi said Thursday Saif al-Islam was shot in the leg and is in a hospital.

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Saif al-Islam, his father and Libya's intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi were indicted this year for allegedly ordering, planning and participating in illegal attacks on civilians in the early days of the violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

As the former rebels moved into Tripoli two months ago, there came an announcement that Saif al-Islam had been seized. But then Qaddafi's longtime heir apparent appeared in front of the hotel where foreign journalists had to stay in the Libyan capital with a crowd of cheering supporters.

The misleading news was widely considered a turning point that cost the rebels credibility on the international stage, but it also may have contributed to the fall of Tripoli.

While revolutionary leaders scrambled to do damage control by saying they had never confirmed the reports, officials said the announcement of Saif al-Islam's arrested prompted some 30 officers assigned to guard Qaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound to lay down their arms. That raised questions about whether the rebels may have intentionally put out the false report as psychological warfare.

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