BREAKING NEWS: Gaddafi's son Saif arrested in southern Libya, says country's Justice Minister
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, 39, found near town of Obari
Reportedly 'in good health'
News sparks celebrations across the country
Will be held in Zintan until new government is formed
By Lee Moran
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's son and heir apparent Saif al-Islam has been detained in the southern desert of Libya.
The country's interim justice minister said Saif and several bodyguards were captured near the town of Obari, by fighters based in the western mountain town of Zintan.
They had been trying to flee to neighbouring Niger. No other senior figures from the ousted administration were caught.
Detained: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's son and heir apparent Saif al-Islam, pictured here in August, has been arrested in the southern desert of Libya
'We have arrested Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in the Obari area,' Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagy said.
He added that the 39-year-old, who is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at The Hague, was not injured.
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Another senior official in the executive of the National Transitional Council (NTC) said the interim government was still checking the details of what had happened.
There was no word of the other official wanted by the ICC, former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.
Celebration: Libyan soldiers pictured during a military event in Tripoli on Thursday
The news broke and fighters from Zintan, a powerful faction among the many armed groups currently dominating Libya while the NTC tries to form a new government, started celebrating in Tripoli.
Bashir Thaelba, a Zintan field commander who had called a news conference on another issue, told reporters in the capital that Gaddafi would be held in Zintan until there was a government to hand him over to.
The government is due to be formed within days.
'The rebels of Zintan announce that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been arrested along with three of his aides today,' Thaelba said in remarks carried on Libyan television.
'We hope at this historical moment that the future of Libya will be bright.'
Gaddafi's father was killed on October 20 after being captured in his home town of Sirte on the coast.
Saif escaped, even though his motorcade was hit by a Nato air strike as it left Bani Walid the day before.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT SAIF AL-ISLAM GADDAFI?
Born in 1972, Saif (pictured right) is the oldest of seven children.
He earned an engineering degree in Libya and a business degree in Austria before wrapping up his education with a master's degree and doctorate at the London School of Economics in 2008.
His engagement in Libyan politics began in the 1990s, when he became the president of the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations.
The organisation has acted as an intermediary in several disputes and helped lead to a rapprochement between Libya and the international community.
He often acted as an envoy for his father's regime, and in 2002 and 2003 helped broker the agreement that saw Libya renounce its weapons of mass destruction program and begin its journey back into the international fold.
He lobbied militants to release hostages, funded research at the London School of Economics, welcomed world leaders and Western intellectuals to his country and portrayed himself as a champion of economic and social reforms.
In 2009, he aided talks in Britain that eventually secured the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
A 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable released by the website WikiLeaks said his high-profile role as the public face of the regime to the West has been a mixed blessing for him.
It added: 'While it has bolstered his image ... many Libyans view him as self-aggrandizing and too eager to please foreigners at the expense of Libyans' interest.'