HUNDREDS OF MOURNERS have gathered in Tripoli for the funeral of the youngest son of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who was reportedly killed on last weekend.
Saif al-Arab and his three children were allegedly killed, and several people wounded, during a NATO air raid on Sunday.
Today, almost one thousand people came to pay their respects for the dead – however, Muammar Gaddafi was not among them. Instead, another of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, attended the ceremony.
Al Jazeera quotes Khaled Kaim, Libya’s deputy foreign minister, who said the NATO strike was the fourth attempt to assassinate Col Gaddafi. Kaim denied suggestions that the Libyan government had fabricated the deaths, saying that religious leaders had been permitted to view the bodies in the morgue.
A Catholic bishop in Tripoli, Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, was one of the church leaders permitted to see the bodies. He said he was informed one of the bodies was that of Saif al-Arab, however Martinelli said that the remains were so badly disfigured he had not been able to make a positive identification.
Meanwhile, at the funeral crowds chanted “The people want revenge for the martyrs!”, amid calls of support for Gaddafi.
Saif al-Arab was buried in a coffin covered in a green cloth – the colour associated with Islam. His children Hannibal, Mohammed and their sister Aisha were buried nearby, the Vancouver Sun reports.