As the hunt for Muammar Gaddafi continues, one unconfirmed report suggests he may have escaped from Libya into neighbouring Algeria.
The elusive colonel was last seen in June playing chess, although he has broadcast audio messages since.
His son Saif al-Islam was reported captured before making a dramatic reappearance in front of exuberant supporters earler in the week.
Now the official Egyptian news agency Mena quotes an unnamed Libyan rebel military source as saying that a convoy of six armour-plated Mercedes passed through the Algerian border town of Ghadames on Friday.
It is thought they were carrying “senior Libyan officials, possibly Gaddafi and his sons”, said the source.
Rebels have thoroughly searched – and trashed – the colonel’s compound in Tripoli but found no sign of their most wanted man.
There has been no comment from the Algerian government, which has not recognised Libya’s opposition National Transitional Council.
Algiers has never demanded Gaddafi’s departure, saying it remains “strictly neutral” in the conflict.