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By Damien McElroy, Zintan, Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent, telegraph.co.uk / 9:00PM BST 15 Aug 2011.
The rebels were attempting to identify the trajectory of the missile which was fired from Col Gaddafi's stronghold of Sirte even as his envoys headed for new talks with the opposition and a United Nations special envoy in Tunisia.
Despite rumours that he is preparing to flee, the opposition fear Col Gaddafi is preparing a desperate last stand in Tripoli and towns still loyal to him in the face of recent rebel advances on two fronts which has cut off his crucial supply routes.
In the early hours of Monday morning, the defiant Libyan leader addressed his people, calling on them to take up arms and "defend their fatherland" and predicting a swift end for "the rats" and the "coloniser" - the rebels and NATO.
But in a further sign of his weakening position, his deputy interior minister, said to be a long-time devoted loyalist, then apparently defected. Nasser al-Mabrouk Abdullah arrived in the Egyptian capital Cairo with nine members of his family claiming he was taking a holiday.
The launch of the ballistic Scud missile, which has a range of more than 200 miles, was detected by a US Aegis destroyer in the Mediterranean on Sunday, officials told The Daily Telegraph.
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