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BND reportedly knew Qaddafi's hiding place

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Photo: DPA
10:28 CEST+02:00
The German intelligence service knew where ousted Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was hiding out weeks before he was tracked down by Libyan rebel forces, according to a Sunday news item. The BND denied the report.

Qaddafi was killed Thursday after a rebel fighter discovered him hiding in a drainage pipe in his hometown of Sirte, Qaddafi's birthplace and one of the last bastions of loyalist support in Libya.

The Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND, knew where Qaddafi was staying in Sirte, according to German magazine Der Spiegel, but sources said the agency did not release any data on his location that could have facilitated a targeted attack on the former Libyan leader.

Germany's intelligence service has an extensive network of contacts and sources in the region.

A spokesman for the BND said Saturday the agency did not know that Qaddafi was staying in Sirte on the day of his capture.

The sequence of events in the run-up to Qaddafi's death suggest that Germany's NATO allies, however, were aware of his whereabouts. When the ousted leader's convoy tried to flee Sirte, it was fired upon by French fighter jets.

Germany famously abstained from the United Nations resolution to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, a pact that laid the groundwork for NATO involvement in the country.

Meanwhile, there are still conflicting reports over what happened in the hours before Qaddafi was killed. His widow, Safia, has called for an international investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of her husband and son, Mutassim, who was also killed on Thursday.

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Libya's National Transitional Council said Muammar Qaddafi was shot in a firefight.

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