9:25PM: The clot plot thickens: The Middle East Times reports that Libya’s state news agency JANA has scoffed at the reports of Gaddafi’s ill health.
Libya Monday scoffed at rumors about veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi’s state of health after a report he was in a coma, suffering a blood clot on the brain.
The state news agency JANA said the rumors about Gaddafi, the Arab world’s longest serving leader, were the subject of joking during a telephone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi Monday morning.
“The phone call was an opportunity for the Italian prime minister to joke about a lie created by a traitor media outlet about the brother leader’s health,” JANA said.
Palestinian news agency Maan, quoting “informed sources,” reported that Gaddafi had suffered a blood clot on the brain and was in a coma after being rushed to hospital Sunday. It later removed the report from its Web site.
Problem is, it is still on the Ma’an news site.
What’s more, the Ma’an report ends:
There has so far been no official denial of the news that Qaddafi is unwell.
10:45PM: Ma’an has now retracted its story:
A telephone call took place on Monday evening between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Libyan leader, Colonel Mu’ammar Qaddafi. The conversation reflected that Qaddafi is in good health, contradictory to the story which Ma’an published earlier about a collapse in his health. The source of the earlier story turned out to be unreliable.
Ma’an News Agency apologizes to the Libyan leader and people for the confusion which the story caused. They also wish the Libyan leader good health. The Palestinian people still remember the positive support of the Libyan people and government for the Palestinian cause.
Earlier on Monday, sources assured Ma’an News Agency that the Libyan leader had suffered a brain clot and had been immediately rushed to hospital.