Saif Al-Islam
Saif Al-Islam, son of Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi, greets supporters in Tripoli August 23, 2011. Saif told journalists that Libya, which has been largely overrun in the past 24 hours by rebel forces seeking to topple his father, was in fact in government hands and that Muammar Gaddafi was safe. Reuters

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, one of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's seven sons, appeared in Tripoli early Tuesday morning, greeting supporters in the face of the rebel presence in the city.

It was reported Sunday that Saif al-Islam has been arrested by rebels, along with his brothers Saadi and Muhammad, but he told journalists that he was there to refute the lies, and claimed that the word of his detention was a trick by rebels.

Saif al-Islam also implied that his father was safe and still somewhere within the city.

Tripoli is under our control. Everyone should rest assured. All is well in Tripoli,'' Saif al-Islam said outside Bab al-Azizya, Gaddafi's Tripoli compound.

In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera, Waheed Burshan, a representative of the rebel National Transitional Council in Gharyan, confirmed that Saif had been arrested, but he was unable to say how he subsequently escaped. He referred vaguely to inexperienced youth and the lack of a structured military guard.

Col. Gaddafi's whereabouts are still a mystery, and he has not been seen in public since June, although he recently recorded an audio address after rebels invaded and took control of much of the capital over the weekend.

Saif al-Islam is perhaps the most famous of Gaddafi's children. At one time, the 39-year-old was heralded as the Western-educated, progressive future of Libya, but he is now wanted on war crimes charges for allegedly ordering the killing of unarmed protestors. The International Criminal Court has requested that Saif al-Islam be transferred to The Hague upon his arrest.

It has also been reported that Muhammad Gaddafi, the Libyan leader's eldest son, has escaped from rebel control. He was arrested in his home Sunday, but according to Libyan sources, Muhammad escaped with the help of pro-government forces on Monday.

The Tuesday appearance of Saif al-Islam is not the first time there have been contrasting reports from the Libyan conflict, as both sides attempt to show their strength to an international audience.

Earlier this month, rebels claimed that Khamis Gaddafi was killed in a NATO airstrike on the city of Zlitan. Khamis led Libya's 32nd Brigade, a special forces unit that was not only regarded as the most loyal Libyan force, but also the best trained and equipped. NATO never confirmed the kill, and Khamis appeared on state television a week after his supposed death. It is unclear when the video was filmed.

Saif al-Arab al-Gaddafi, the Libyan leader's youngest son, was killed in a NATO bombing in May. Gadhafi had a total of eight children, including seven sons and a daughter.