Foreign minister Franco Frattini said he believed reports from Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the Catholic Bishop in Tripoli, that the despot had been wounded by Nato airstrikes.
He told reporters in Tuscany that 'Gaddafi was most probably outside Tripoli and probably even wounded'. The Libyan government has denied the reports.
Mr Frattini stressed that Italy has 'no hard information on the current fate of Gaddafi'.
Still, 'I tend to take as credible the words of the Tripoli Archbishop (Giovanni) Martinelli who tells us that Gaddafi is very probably outside of Tripoli and probably also wounded,' the ANSA news agency quoted Mr Frattini as telling reporters in Rome.
In comments during a TV interview posted on the Corriere della Sera newspaper's website, Mr Frattini added that 'international pressure has likely provoked the decision by Gaddafi to seek refuge in a safe place.'
'I lean toward the solution of an escape from Tripoli, not an escape from Libya,' he said.
'Libya is a big country, with desert areas.' Read More