Libyan Rebels Control Much of Tripoli, Gadhafi Whereabouts Unknown

The rebels say they have reached surrounded Gadhafi compound.

ByABC News
August 21, 2011, 8:25 AM

Aug. 21, 2011— -- Rebel forces took control of much of Tripoli tonight, and thousands flooded the streets of the Libyan capital and other cities around the country to celebrate what they hope will be the end of Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year reign.

"We were waiting for the signal and it happened," Nour Eddin Shatouni, a 50-year-old engineer celebrating the apparent collapse of the strongman's regime, told The Associated Press. "All mosques chanted 'God is great' all at once. We smelled a good scent, it is the smell of victory. We know it is the time."

The Transitional National Council (NTC), the administration set up by the rebel forces, claimed that three of the Libyan strongman's sons have either been captured or surrendered.

Muhammad Gadhafi, son of the Libyan leader, told Al Jazeera in a weepy phone call that he had surrendered to opposition forces. Crying on the phone, he said that his house was surrounded by gunfire and he was under house arrest.

Shortly before that phone call, his brothers Seif al Islam and Saadi, were captured by rebel forces in Tripoli, according to the NTC. Seif al Islam, like his father, has been indicted on charges of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.

ICC representatives will meet Monday with the transitional forces to discuss how Seif al Islam will be transferred to the Hague, ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told The Associated Press.

Rebel forces have surrounded the Gadhafi compound, Bab al Aziziya, a representative of the rebel government told ABC News and gunfire has been heard outside the compound.

Mohamad al Akari, an NTC advisor, said that if Moammar Gadhafi is still in Tripoli, they believe he is in Bab al Aziziya.

"Tonight it's over," Akari said.

The NTC also claimed that members of Gadhafi's presidential guard have surrendered to the rebel forces.

Libyan rebel forces gathered in Green Square in the heart of Tripoli, but there were isolated clashes with government forces and snipers throughout the city, according to multiple reports.