Saadi Kadhafi, one of the sons of Libya's slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi, has said a nationwide rebellion is brewing against the country's new rulers as he vowed to return to his homeland.
"I will return to Libya at any time," Saadi Kadhafi told Al-Arabiya television by telephone from neighbouring Niger, where he took refuge after the fall of Tripoli which ended his father's 42-year iron-fisted rule of Libya.
"Seventy percent of Libyans are not satisfied with the current situation," he said in an interview on Friday, adding that "the Libyan people are ruled by gangs."
Kadhafi said "there is a rebellion that is going on day after day, and there will be a rebellion in the entire country."
Asked about the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), which took over after his father's overthrow last year, Kadhafi said: "There will come a day when the Libyan people will be capable of wiping out these gangs."
When he returned, "I will try to make sure that there are no reprisals or revenge operations," he promised.
The NTC responded with a renewed call to the authorities in Niamey to extradite Saadi Kadhafi.
"The NTC requests to the government of Niger to immediately hand over Saadi and other fugitives to the Libyan authorities to maintain its interests and relations with the Libyan people," council spokesman Mohamed Nasr al-Harizi said in a statement.
Harizi warned that the "thuwar (former rebel militias) have not given up their arms and are ready to fight any unwise force."
Libya's official news agency LANA reported that Foreign Minister Ashur bin Khayyal denounced Saadi's remarks in a telephone conversation with his Niger counterpart Mohamed Bazum.
"This declaration (by Saadi) is harmful to the relations between the two countries," Khayyal said.
The "Niger government must take tough measures against Saadi, including handing him over to Libyan authorities to judge him for the crimes committed against the Libyan people," LANA quoted Khayyal as telling Bazum.
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Niger said that Kadhafi's comments were "subversive and unfortunate" but insisted that it will not extradite him to Libya.
"We would like to say to the NTC that Niger's government in no way approved or prompted this business, and we also are badly disappointed," Niger government spokesman Marou Amadou told reporters in Niamey.
"It is with great bitterness that I say that Saadi Kadhafi, in predicting an imminent uprising in Libya, has contravened the terms and conditions under which we took him in."
But "our position is simple, we cannot deliver someone to a place where he risks being put to death and where he is not likely to have a dignified trial," he said. Related article: Niger will not extradite Kadhafi son
Amadou said that the surveillance of Kadhafi had been greatly strengthened, and the government was considering sanctions against those who were guarding him.
He added that Niger had authorised the International Criminal Court to take over Kadhafi's case but it had not responded.
Dozens of Libyans demonstrated outside Niger's embassy in Tripoli on Saturday, demanding Saadi's extradition.
Saadi, 38, took refuge last September in Niger which granted it on "humanitarian grounds," according to Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou.
The African country has refused to extradite Kadhafi's son despite repeated requests from the new Libyan authorities to do so.
Libya's new rulers accuse Saadi of having "taken goods by force and intimidation when he led the Libyan football federation," according to international police organisation Interpol, which has issued a "red notice" for his arrest.
The uprising that ousted Moamer Kadhafi erupted on February 17, 2011 in the eastern city of Benghazi and later spread across the entire country.
The bloody conflict ended with the capture and killing of the ousted dictator on October 20 after a fierce battle for his home town of Sirte.