Saturday, August 27, 2011
Qaddafi's Bab Ul Aziziya Compound Has Miles Long Tunnels And Zigzag Bunkers
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's plundered Bab al-Aziziya compound is a maze of dark tunnels and bunkers that reputedly also also houses an Olympic size swimming pool and a garage for luxury cars. "It's the money of the Libyan people which paid for all of this," commented Said, 35, on Thursday, a day after his release from a prison where he languished for several weeks for having demonstrated against Kadhafi's regime.
"They ripped out my nails," he told the reoprters in the warren of rooms, adding that he was now looking for compensation in the tunnels full of debris, scattered clothing, food and empty bullet magazines.
A large room contained dozens of notebooks on several tables, and shelves full of hard drives and computer servers.
The bedrooms, vandalized like the other structures, had their beds and mattresses ripped open. A weapons cache lay scatterred nearby along with a dirty Russian body armour.
Brazilian plastic surgeon Liacyr Ribeiro, who operated on Kadhafi in 1994 for under-eye bags, shared details Wednesday in Rio De Janeiro about his rare visit to the longtime Libyan leader's "amazing" bunker.
Ribeiro was participating in a medical conference in Tripoli when Libya's health minister at the time asked him to "examine someone dear to me."
"I thought it was his wife," said the 70-year-old doctor. "I went with him in his car, but when we arrived I realized it was Kadhafi. The entrance of the bunker was a zigzag shape, and they made me wait in the library."
Then they lead Ribeiro to a building "where there was a tent."
"It was there that Kadhafi greeted me," said the surgeon. "I told him it was too dark to examine him there, and he took me into a very modern dental office.
"It was amazing! I did not at all expect to see such a thing," he added of the bunker, where he said there was a gym with an Olympic-sized pool.
"At the time Kadhafi was in very good physical form," added Ribeiro, who said he returned a year later to perform a hair implant operation.
Among dozens of people interviewed on Thursday in Bab al-Aziziya, many said they had heard of the pool and a garage full of luxury cars. But no one had seen it or knew its location.
Despite the occasional bullets slamming into the walls of the compound, hundreds of rebels and civilians scrambled across the complex in search of booty be it air conditioning units or golden chandeliers.
One young man was even seen filling an entire truck with furniture, carpets, blankets and television sets.
"We think there are snipers," said Fawzi Maktuf, 23, as he drove a pick-up truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun. "We have arrested someone who was firing, but there are bullets from time to time."