Libyan rebels are demanding that Algeria return Muammar Qadhafi’s wife and three of his children for trial after they fled, raising tensions between the neighbouring countries.
Algeria’s decision to host members of the Qadhafi clan is an “aggressive act against the Libyan people’s wish,” said Mahmoud Shammam, Information Minister in the rebels’ interim government.
Safiya Qadhafi, her daughter Aisha and sons Hannibal and Mohammed entered Algeria on Monday. In Washington, the Obama administration said it had no indication that Mr. Qadhafi himself has left the country.
Rebels also said another son of Qadhafi, Khamis, was likely killed last week in a battle south of Tripoli.
“We are determined to arrest and try the whole Qadhafi family, including Qadhafi himself,” Mr. Shammam said late on Monday night. “We’d like to see those people coming back to Libya.”
Rebel leaders said they were not surprised to hear Algeria welcomed Qadhafi’s family. Throughout Libya’s six-month uprising, rebels have accused Algeria of providing Qadhafi with mercenaries to repress the revolt.
The departure of Qadhafi’s family was one of the strongest signs yet that the long-time leader has lost his grip on the country.