UPDATE 2-Gaddafi son Khamis, spy chief believed dead-rebels

Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:28pm GMT

* Rebel military spokesman says "almost certain" they are dead

* Council chief says he cannot confirm the reports (Adds reported death of Gaddafi intelligence chief)

TRIPOLI Aug 29 (Reuters) - Libyan rebels are almost certain that Muammar Gaddafi's son Khamis and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi have been killed during fighting with their units, the top rebel military spokesman said on Monday.

If true, their deaths would mark the highest-profile casualties on the Gaddafi side since an uprising began six months ago aimed at ending Muammar Gaddafi's 42-years in power.

"We have almost certain information that Khamis Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi were killed on Saturday by a unit of the national liberation army during clashes in Tarhouna (90 km southeast of Tripoli)," spokesman Ahmed Bani told Al Arabiya television.

"Khamis Gaddafi was buried in Bani Walid," Bani told the pan-Arab channel.

However, Khamis has been reported dead twice before during the uprising, only to reappear, and Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who heads the rebel National Transitional Council, told Al Jazeera television on Monday that he did not have any official information about Khamis's death.

Colonel Al-Mahdi Al-Haragi, in charge of the Tripoli Brigade of the rebel army, said earlier that he had confirmation that Khamis, who commanded an elite brigade suspected of atrocities, had been badly wounded and died of his wounds in hospital.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the United States could not yet independently confirm Khamis's death but said similar information was being received in Washington from "reliable sources".   Continued...

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