Tripoli, 30 September:
Former NTC Chairman Mustafa Jalil did not die of a heart attack in Germany earlier today as has been rumoured.
The claim, which first appears to have emerged on Facebook, spread like wildfire and forced Jalil into making a live television appearance on Al-Jazeera this evening to quash the story.
“A member of Congress who just spoke with Mustafa Jalil’s relatives in Bayda has confirmed to me that he is very much alive”, Congressman Suleiman Zubi informed the Libya Herald this afternoon.
A alarmed Congressman Zubi had agreed to make the necessary calls having been informed by this paper of the rumour this afternoon.
The congressman, who had hitherto heard nothing about it, is not believed to actively monitor Facebook.
This is not the first time that false rumours have emerged regarding the former NTC Chairman’s health.
In May, Jalil went in to hospital for a hernia operation and came out again to unsubstantiated claims that he had suffered a heart attack.
The story highlights once again the speed with which even the most serious unverified rumours can travel in Libya.
Jalil was not available for comment this evening, but as Mark Twain once said, “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. [/restrict]