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Video: Libyan rebels take Gaddafi compound - but no sign of Muammar

Smoke is rising this evening from the Bab al-Aiziya complex as rebels celebrate by firing into the air.

Rebel fighters celebrate taking the compound.
Rebel fighters celebrate taking the compound.
Image: AP Photo/APTN

Updated at 19:00

LIBYAN REBELS have taken control of the Gaddafi compound in Tripoli, but the whereabouts of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi remain unknown. The group stormed the main compound today after fierce fighting with pockets of loyal Gaddafi supporters.

Smoke is rising this evening from the compound, one of Gaddafi’s homes over the past four decades of his rule.

As rebels celebrate taking the military compound by kicking the head of a Gaddafi statue around and firing into the air, gun battles continue in other parts of the city.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Abdel-Aziz Shafiya from Misrata told the AP: “I lost friends and relatives and now I can walk into Gaddafi’s house. Many of my friends have died and now all of that meant something.”

One rebel fighter was pleased to discover he had found Gaddafi’s private rooms within the compound and proudly showed off the signature hat and cane he found there. “I am so happy,” he told Sky News. “We don’t want anybody else like Gaddafi.”

Watch: Rebels celebrate taking Gaddafi’s compound:

The complex in Bab al-Aiziya had sustained serious damage during NATO’s air strikes on the capital. A former Gaddafi advisor Abdel-Salam Jalloud, who defected earlier this month, said he believed Gaddafi was staying in private homes and small hotels in the outskirts of Tripoli. However, there have been no confirmed sightings of Gaddafi recently.

“Where is he? We’re looking for you!” one rebel told Sky News reporter Alex Crawford inside the compound this evening. Other rebels said they wanted to see Gaddafi and his sons put on trial. “People have been waiting for this moment for 42 years,” one said. “For now on, we will have a new Libya.”

NATO planes flew over Tripoli today, but did not carry out any strikes.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Gaddafi’s son reappears in Tripoli a day after his ‘capture’ >

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