March 31, 2011 / 8:33 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Jazeera says more Gaddafi aides leave Libya

CAIRO, March 31 (Reuters) - Al Jazeera television said on Thursday that “a number of figures” close to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had left Libya for Tunis, a day after Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa defected and flew to London.

A spokesman for the Tunisian foreign ministry said he had no information on the matter. A Libyan government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Citing unnamed sources, Al Jazeera said the group included the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation Shokri Ghanem.

Earlier on Thursday, Ghanem said he was in Libya: “I am in Tripoli and I am in my office,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Also named by Al Jazeera were the speaker of Libya’s General People’s Congress Mohamed Abdul Qasim al-Zwai, foreign intelligence chief Abuzeid Dorda and Abdelati al-Obaidi, a senior diplomat in charge of European affairs.

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, one of Gaddafi’s closest advisers and a former spy chief, defected and flew to Britain on Wednesday in protest at attacks by Gaddafi’s forces on civilians. (Reporting by Isabel Coles; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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