The Russian head of the World Chess Federation said he spoke Tuesday with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and that he remains in Tripoli and defiant.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has known Gadhafi for years. His visit to Tripoli in July was among the last times the Libyan leader was seen in public after NATO airstrikes began.
Ilyumzhinov said in an interview with the Interfax news agency that Gadhafi called him at around 6 p.m. Moscow time (1400 GMT, 10 a.m. EDT) and said he was “alive and well and still in Tripoli and not planning to leave Libya.”
He said Gadhafi sounded full of vigor and told him he was “certain we will win.”
Ilyunzhinov said he also talked to Gadhafi’s son Mohammed, Libya’s Olympic chief, who said his father’s forces would “drive the rats out of the city.”