| Updated at: 1705 PST, Sunday, May 01, 2011|
BENGHAZI: The Libyan rebel capital Benghazi was rocked by sustained gunfire and explosions overnight as fighters celebrated reports that Seif al-Arab, a son of Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi, died.
But by early Sunday doubts about the truth of the report crept in, quelling the joyful mood, as it was suspected that news of Seif al-Arab's death in a NATO air strike was simply more propaganda from the Tripoli regime.
"I don't believe it because it was told by the Libyan TV," said Waleed Mohammed, 34, a policeman patrolman.
He added that if the news were true it would "not make the war finish early because Kadhafi is a crazy man," and "even if all his family were dead, he won't give up. Not until he dies."
A regime spokesman on Sunday said that a NATO raid killed Kadhafi's youngest son and three grandchildren, but that the Libyan strongman had escaped unhurt.
The house of Seif al-Arab Kadhafi, 29, "was attacked tonight with full power," government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told reporters, announcing the deaths from Saturday night raids.
The Libyan leader and his wife were in the building but were not harmed, Ibrahim said, calling the strike "a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country."
But scepticism quickly replaced jubilation in the eastern rebel bastion, where a parallel government is gearing up to take the reins should Kadhafi be ousted or killed. (AFP)