Qaddafi "in good health," ever elusive

Muammar Qaddafi has become a master of escape. Libyan rebels on Monday surrounded one of his strongholds about 90 miles southeast of Tripoli. But the dictator had already moved on. And late Monday a Qaddafi spokesman took to the airwaves to declare the topped dictator not just alive but "in good health and in high spirits."

CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen in Libya reports on how Qaddafi has managed to elude rebel fighters time after time.

The hunt started August 23 -- his Tripoli compound taken, but Qaddafi gone. Two days later, he reportedly showed up south of the city during a firefight at a military base. And then he was reported to be further south, perhaps in the desert town of Bani Walid, where rebels today said he's slipped away again.

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American educated Hisham Buhagiar is a rebel who heads the hunt for Qaddafi.

"Qaddafi is an expert on how to hide," he said. "Like Osama bin Baden -- like not using cell phones, and not using computers."

Qaddafi is now believed to be in the southern city of Sabha where he has supporters or at the border with Niger or Algeria.

"I bet you he is scared," Buhagiar told CBS News. "If you have 10,000 people looking for you -- you are scared. And the whole world is looking for him."

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The dictator has left behind a legacy of tyranny and a legacy of war -- stockpiles of scud missiles and land mines strewn across Libya.

Two boys who found a stash of grenades at their school accidentally triggered one. Twelve-year-old Abdul's leg was shredded in the explosion, but doctors were able to save him.

His friend Wadir's hand was blown off and the skin stripped off his face and abdomen. It was too much: The seven-year-old died on the table.

Libyans would consider this another of Qaddafi's crimes, the death of a child, and add it the litany of charges they want Qaddafi to face, in person, when and if they get him.

  • Barry Petersen

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