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Gaddafi offers to negotiate with Libya rebels

Muammar Gaddafi, via spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, offers to begin negotiations with Libyan rebels over the formation of a transitional government — but the rebels say they will not talk to Gaddafi unless he surrenders.

Gaddafi tripoli rebels 08 28 2011Enlarge
Libyan rebels from Benghazi disembark from a ship at the harbour of Tripoli to reinforce opposition forces in the capital on August 27, 2011, as fighting was still under way on various fronts in Libya, with the insurgents working to consolidate their hold on Tripoli and its suburbs. Muammar Gaddafi has offered to enter into negotiations with the rebels over the formation of a transitional government, according to reports. (PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Muammar Gaddafi has offered to enter into negotiations with the Libyan rebels over the formation of a transitional government, but the rebels say he must surrender before any talks can take place.

The Associated Press reports that Moussa Ibrahim, regime spokesman and a Gaddafi loyalist, called the newswire's New York office and said Gaddafi wanted his son Al-Saadi to lead talks with the National Transitional Council. 

Ibrahim told the AP that he was still in Tripoli, and Gaddafi was still in Libya.

But the Libyan rebels quickly rejected the offer, with a senior National Transitional Council official telling Reuters that the rebels will not talk with Gaddafi unless he surrenders.

The British foreign secretary, William Hague, described Gaddafi's offer of negotiations as "delusional" and said there has never been any possibility of the Libyan dictator being part of a transition, the Guardian reports.

Video from GlobalPost's James Foley in Libya: Tripoli scenes from the uprising

Meanwhile, rebel forces are preparing for an assault on Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, a pro-Gaddafi stronghold.

Rebel forces are continuing to search for Gaddafi and his sons, and are battling for control of key roads and border crossings to help ease shortages of fuel and food, particularly in Libya's  capital, Tripoli, the Guardian says.

In Tripoli, residents dug makeshift graves as the stench of decomposing bodies and burning garbage filled the streets.

More widespread summary killings during the battle for the Libyan capital were discovered as the city also faced a humanitarian crisis due to failing water and power supplies, Reuters Africa reports.

More reporting from GlobalPost in Libya: Tripoli calm, people hungry but happy

In a sign of continuing instability in the city, bursts of heavy machine gunfire and explosions could be heard overnight Saturday, Reuters says.

The charred remains of about 53 people were found in a warehouse in Tripoli, apparently opponents of Gaddafi who were executed, Britain's Sky News reported on Saturday.

Sky broadcast pictures of a heap of burned skeletons, still smoldering, in an agricultural warehouse, where the victims were apparently prisoners.

The gruesome discovery came a day after more than 120 decomposing bodies were found in a Tripoli hospital, which doctors had abandoned.

In the Tajoura district of the capital, local people prepared a mass grave for the bodies of 22 African men who appeared to have been recruited to fight for Gaddafi, Reuters reports. 

More Libya news from GlobalPost's Jon Jensen: Gaddafi's land mines still a threat

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/110828/libya-news-gaddafi-rebels-transitional-government-tripoli-sirte