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Gadhafi’s detained son taken to hospital due to hunger strike in Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) – A son of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was briefly taken to hospital this week after his health deteriorated nearly three weeks into a hunger strike to protest his detention without trial in Beirut, a person familiar with the case said on Thursday.

The health of Hannibal Gadhafi, who has been only drinking small amounts of water, deteriorated on Wednesday, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Gadhafi, who started his hunger strike on June 3, was taken to Beirut’s Hotel-Dieu de France hospital on Wednesday after suffering a drop in blood pressure and inflammation in the spine.

Gadhafi was given serum, antibiotics and food supplements and after his health stabilised he was taken back to the jail where he is held in Beirut, the person said. A doctor checked on Gadhafi in his cell on Thursday and he is in stable condition, the person said. He had been suffering back pain due to being held in a small room where he cannot move freely or exercise.

Hannibal Gadhafi has been detained in Lebanon since 2015 after he was briefly kidnapped from neighbouring Syria, where he had been living as a political refugee.

PHOTO: AP

He was abducted by Lebanese militants demanding information on the whereabouts of prominent Lebanese cleric Moussa al-Sadr, who went missing in Libya 45 years ago.

Lebanese police later announced it had collected Hannibal from the northeastern city of Baalbek where he was being held. He has been detained in a Beirut jail without trial since then.

The disappearance of al-Sadr in 1978 has been a long-standing sore point in Lebanon. The cleric’s family believes he may still be alive in a Libyan prison, though most Lebanese presume al-Sadr is dead. He would be 94 years old.

Al-Sadr was the founder of the Amal group, Arabic for “hope,” and an acronym for the militia’s Arabic name, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades. The group later fought in Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. Lebanon’s powerful Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads the group.

Most of al-Sadr’s followers are convinced that Moammar Gadhafi ordered al-Sadr killed in a dispute over Libyan payments to Lebanese militias. Libya has maintained that the cleric and his two travelling companions left Tripoli in 1978 on a flight to Rome and suggested he was a victim of a power struggle among sects.

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