Saif al-Islam tells Reuters he is fine after capture

ZINTAN, Libya Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:38pm IST

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is pictured sitting in a plane in Zintan November 19, 2011. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is pictured sitting in a plane in Zintan November 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

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ZINTAN, Libya (Reuters) - Saif al-Islam Gaddafi told Reuters on Saturday that he was feeling fine after being captured by some of the fighters who overthrew his father and he said injuries to his right hand were suffered during a NATO air strike a month ago.

Asked by Reuters correspondent Marie-Louise Gumuchian on the plane which flew him to the town of Zintan if he was feeling all right, Gaddafi said simply: "Yes."

Reluctant to speak at length, the London-educated 39-year-old son of Muammar Gaddafi was asked about bandages on the thumb and two fingers of his right hand. "Air force, air force," he said. Asked if that meant a NATO air strike, he said: "Yes.

"One month ago."

Aides to Gaddafi had said his motorcade was caught by a NATO air strike as he tried to flee the pro-Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, near Tripoli, on Oct. 19, the day before his father was captured and killed in his home town of Sirte.

After the brief exchange with the heavily bearded prisoner, Libyan Reuters journalists who have met Saif al-Islam said they had no doubt that was indeed him - though he repeatedly declined to confirm his identity outright.

So great was the crowd which thronged the Soviet-built cargo aircraft that flew him up from the desert town of Obari that his captors removed four other prisoners and other people from the plane, leaving Saif al-Islam still on board on the tarmac.

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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