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In Libya: 'Biggest Fear' Is Gadhafi Disappearing, Continuing To Fight

The news that ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's wife and three of his children have fled to Algeria underscores "the biggest fear" for many Libyans, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Tripoli — that Gadhafi will elude capture and that his forces will continue to battle for weeks, months or perhaps years.

On Morning Edition, Lourdes told host Steve Inskeep that leaders of the transitional government say they're urgently searching for Gadhafi and his older sons "because ... he can continue to cause problems [and] people don't feel safe with him at large."

Where is Gadhafi? "The south of the country is still very much in [Gadhafi] loyalist hands," Lourdes says. He might be there or in his home town of Sirte, where the opposition forces are gathering and hopes to soon take control.

Sky News says it has been told by a man claiming to be the bodyguard of one of Gadhafi's sons that the former leader is headed south. As with much of what's being claimed about events in Libya, it's wise to treat such reports with suspicion.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that "Libya's interim rebel leaders have given pro-Gadhafi forces until Saturday to surrender or face military force."

And there's this: Agence France Presse says Gadhafi's daughter Aisha, one of the family members now in Algeria, "gave birth very early this morning. She had a little girl."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.