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Libya tries to prove Gadhafi son still alive

Libyan state television broadcast images Wednesday of a man it said was Moammar Gadhafi's youngest son in an attempt to refute rebel claims that he had been killed last week in a NATO airstrike.

Rebels claimed on Friday that Khamis Gadhafi, 27, who commands one of the best trained and equipped units in the Libyan military, was killed in the western front-line town of Zlitan.

The regime dismissed the claim.

The images on television showed the son at a Tripoli hospital visiting people wounded in a NATO airstrike. It said the visit occurred Tuesday. If genuine, it would be the first time he has been seen in public since the reports of his death.

State television also showed funerals for dozens of civilians it said had died in another NATO airstrike Tuesday in Zlitan, a main front for the rebels fighting Gadhafi's troops. It is about 90 miles southeast of Tripoli.

The channel has been airing images in black and white to honor a three-day mourning period for the 85 people the government said lost their lives in Zlitan.

A day earlier, state television ran images of Libyans rummaging through the rubble of buildings the government said were destroyed by the airstrike. They were shown digging out body parts and piling dead babies in sacks in the back of ambulances. It said 33 children and 32 women were among those killed.

In Brussels on Wednesday, NATO described the Libyan claims about deaths among civilians as "unfounded allegations."

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