The former dictator of Libya seems to have a crush.
As rebel fighters ransacked the compound of Muammar Gaddafi following the fall of Tripoli, an unusual item was discovered: a photo album containing nothing but photos of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Gaddafi and Rice had previously met over dinner in late 2008, at the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.
The deposed dictator would later tell Al Jazeera, “I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. … I love her very much. I admire her and I’m proud of her because she’s a black woman of African origin.”
Photos of the album were carried by The Associated Press.
A rebel military spokesman told Al Jazeera on Thursday that “Libyan territory is 90 to 95 percent under the control of the rebellion.”
Colonel Abdullah Abu Afra said “the fall of Bab al-Aziziya marked the end of the Gaddafi regime in Tripoli and in Libya” after 42 years in power.
But rebels said Gaddafi forces were pounding insurgents holding the center of Zuwarah, west of Tripoli, adding that reinforcements were lacking to lift the siege.
Rebels advancing towards Gaddafi’s birthplace of Sirte were also blocked Wednesday in the town of Bin Jawad as loyalists kept up a stiff resistance.
“Gaddafi’s forces are still fighting, we are surprised. We thought they would surrender with the fall of Tripoli,” Bukatif said.
“Maybe something or somebody is behind them,” he said, adding “maybe” when asked if he was referring to Gaddafi or his sons.
Rebels said they had found no trace of Gaddafi when they swarmed through his compound on Tuesday, and the whereabouts of him and his family remains a mystery.