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Algeria denies Moammar Gadhafi is in the nation

By the CNN Wire Staff
Algerian Foreign Minister,Mourad Medelci, pictured in June, has denied assertions that Moammar Gadhafi is in Algeria.
Algerian Foreign Minister,Mourad Medelci, pictured in June, has denied assertions that Moammar Gadhafi is in Algeria.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Foreign minister offers more insight on Gadhafi family fleeing to Algeria
  • "Of course not," he says when asked whether Gadhafi is in Algeria
  • Algeria will in future recognize the NTC as the government in Libya, Medelci says

(CNN) -- The Algerian foreign minister on Thursday shot down assertions that Moammar Gadhafi is in his country, saying that was never an option.

"Of course not," Mourad Medelci told French radio network Europe 1 when asked whether Gadhafi was in Algeria.

"The hypothesis that Mr. Gadhafi could come knocking on our door was never considered."

Medelci also offered more insight on Gadhafi's family fleeing to Algeria.

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"I think the information that was disclosed which concerns some of his family members who had to be received in Algeria because of extreme circumstances, mainly humanitarian reasons, created a wave of panic," Medelci said.

Gadhafi's wife, two sons and other relatives fled to Algeria, deepening the mistrust between the rebel government and Libya's powerful neighbor.

Algeria described the move as a humanitarian gesture, but it angered the National Transitional Council, with one official calling it "an aggressive act."

The transitional council has accused Algeria of supporting the Gadhafi regime. Algerians also complained to the United Nations about damage done to their embassy soon after the rebels entered Tripoli.

Algeria will in the future recognize the National Transitional Council as the government in Libya, he said during the radio interview.

"The NTC has said it is going to set up a government representative of all regions, and when it has done that, we'll recognize it," Medelci said.

CNN's Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this report

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