Saadi Gaddafi, the exiled son of Libya's former leader, Moammer Gaddafi, has warned of a counter-revolution, as the country prepares to celebrate the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the overthrow of his father.
The Financial Times reports that the 38-year-old, self-styled former footballer spoke to the pan-Arab Al-Arabiya news channel by telephone from his home in the Niger capital Niamey, and said he would return to Libya "soon". He also warned that there were plans for attacks against the interim authorities, the National Transitional Council (NTC).
"I will return to Libya at any time," Saadi Gadaffi is quoted as saying, adding that most Libyans, including members of the NTC were frustrated by the country's political situation and were prepared to take up arms again. “There is a rebellion that is going on day after day and there will be a rebellion in the entire country.”
CNN says that since the comments were aired, Libya's interim leaders claimed that Saadi Gadhafi's telephone connection was cut and he has been placed under house arrest. They also renewed their demand for Niger's government to arrest him.
Saadi Gadhafi has been in Niger since September, CNN explains. He has been granted asylum but the NTC claims his comments on a new uprising were "considered a violation of the terms of his residency granted by Niger."
However, AFP reports that officials in Niger insisted they would not extradite Saadi Gaddafi, despite his comments.
"Our position remains the same: we will hand Saadi Kadhafi to a government that has an independent and impartial justice system," government spokesman Marou Amadou is quoted as saying.
Commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the Feb. 17 uprising that eventually ousted Moammer Gaddafi will take place in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata, but few details have been released.