As it happened: Libya's Col Gaddafi killed

Key points

  • Former Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has been killed, Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril says
  • His death was announced after transitional forces claimed control of Sirte, Col Gaddafi's birthplace, following weeks of fierce fighting
  • There are unconfirmed reports that Col Gaddafi's son Saif is in a convoy fleeing Sirte and is under attack; his brother Mutassim is reportedly dead

    Rumours are reaching us that Col Muammar Gaddafi has been captured and is wounded. A senior NTC figure told Reuters news agency the ex-Libyan leader had been trying to flee Sirte.


    "He's captured. He's wounded in both legs... he's been taken away by ambulance," the senior NTC military official told Reuters by telephone.


    The BBC's Eleanor Montague is in Sirte at the hospital where Gaddafi is believed to have been taken. NTC troops there say he has now been taken on to Misrata.


    An anti-Gaddafi fighter says Gaddafi was hiding in a hole in Sirte shouting "don't shoot, don't shoot", according to Reuters.


    The BBC's Caroline Hawley, speaking in Tripoli amidst a backdrop of celebratory gunfire, says if these announcements are true, it would be "hugely significant".


    An NTC official says Gaddafi's defence minister Abu Bakr Jaber Younes was killed during the capture - Reuters.


    The announcement came after transitional forces claimed control of Sirte, Col Gaddafi's birthplace. There has been no independent confirmation of his capture.


    Col Gaddafi, who was toppled in August after more than four decades in power, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.


    The US State Department says it can't yet confirm whether the former Libyan leader has been captured.


    A website for pro-Gaddafi TV denies that the former Libyan leader has been captured, according to AFP.


    In the UK, neither the Foreign Office nor Ministry of Defence have been able to confirm the reports or make any official comment.


    A Nato official says they are checking reports of the capture, according to Reuters. The official said developments would "take time to confirm".


    Anti-Gaddafi radio Voice of Free Libya (VOFL) - based in Benghazi - has reported the arrest. "The confirmed news is that he has been arrested but it is unknown in which condition," the station said.


    NTC official Abdel Majid has told Reuters that Col Gaddafi was found in a convoy which Nato warplanes attacked.


    The rumours come as Libya's transitional government forces took full control of Sirte, which was the last city where forces loyal to Col Gaddafi had remained.

    Eric, in Pretoria, South Africa,

    emails: As NTC is winning the battle, they have to install the government. The people of Libya must govern - not governed by Mr Jalil (leader of NTC). Democracy must govern the Libyans.


    The Reuters news agency says Col Gaddafi had died of wounds sustained during his reported capture in Sirte.

    Melanie, in Austria,

    emails: I hope this is true and Libya can finally bring him to justice, bring peace and prosperity to its people and heal the wounds that his dictatorship has most definitely caused in their society.


    Pro-NTC TV is reporting that Col Gaddafi's son, Mutassim, and former interior minister Abdullah al-Senussi were captured with Col Gaddafi - however this has not been confirmed.

    Ahmed, in Sirte, Libya:

    emails: It is lies that Gaddafi is not captured, it is just a propaganda


    The situation remains unclear. We are yet to confirm the rumours that Col Gaddafi has been captured or, as the Reuters news agency is reporting, that he is dead.


    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Libyans should decide Col Gaddafi's fate. "The fate of Gaddafi should be decided by the Libyan people," Mr Medvedev was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies, AFP reports.


    Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the deposed Libya leader's capture was great news if confirmed.


    The NTC's Abdul Hakim Al Jalil, commander of the 11th brigade, says Gaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim has also been captured, Reuters is reporting.


    "Even if Sirte alone has fallen, it will be a huge milestone," says the BBC's Caroline Hawley.

    She is reporting from Libya's capital, Tripoli, which she says has "erupted in celebration".


    Reports of Col Gaddafi's capture have been greeted with celebrations in Libya.

    People celebrating

    NTC commander Abdul Hakim Al Jalil also said he had seen the body of defence minister Abu Bakr Younis Jaber. He showed Reuters a picture of a body which he said was Jaber.


    The news anchor on Libyan state TV announced the capture of Col Gaddafi, saying: "This is not a news item, this happiness we are reporting."

    News anchor on Libyan state TV

    A news conference is expected shortly from the NTC, which will hopefully clarify the situation.


    The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse in Sirte says if Col Gaddafi has been arrested and Sirte has indeed fallen then it will mark a turning point for Libyan revolution - the point at which it will be hoped, the fighting ends and the political process begins.


    But, our correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse adds, there have been many false dawns in the battle for Sirte and in the hunt for Col Gaddafi and his family. Until the shooting stops and the Libyan people get to see pictures of the man who led them for so many decades there will be plenty whose elation today will be dampened by scepticism.


    Here's a little background for you. The forces that toppled Col Muammar Gaddafi have been trying to find the fugitive former leader and take control of a few last strongholds since they stormed the centre of Tripoli on 21 August.


    Col Gaddafi's condition remains unclear, with conflicting reports over whether he is dead or alive. AFP news agency quotes NTC official, Mohamed Leith, as saying that Col Gaddafi had been captured in Sirte and was "seriously wounded" but still breathing.


    For a comprehensive catch up on how the conflict in Libya has unfolded, take a look at our Q&A here.


    AFP reports that a spokesman for Libya's transitional government, Jalal al-Gallal, and its military spokesman, Abdul-Rahman Busin, say the reports have not yet been confirmed.


    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says the war in Libya is "over", according to Ansa news agency.


    Read our profile of Muammar Gaddafi if you want to find out more about Libya's maverick former leader, who seized power in 1969 and has been one of the most distinctive figures on the world stage ever since.


    A fighter in Sirte has told the BBC his account of the reported capture. Mohammed, a young fighter in his 20s, wearing a blue T-shirt and a New York Yankees baseball cap, said he had found the colonel hiding in a hole in the ground in the city of Sirte. He told the BBC that the former Libyan leader said to him simply: "Don't shoot".


    The young fighter was brandishing a golden pistol which he said belonged to Col Gaddafi. He was hoisted up onto the shoulders of his comrades in celebration. "Allah Akbar" ("God is great") they chanted as they unleashed volley after volley of bullets into the air.


    Libyan TV is now reporting that Col Gaddafi has been killed and his body is being taken to Misrata.


    "We are waiting for clear confirmation from the NTC in Benghazi," says Mahmoud Shammam, an NTC spokesman in Tripoli. "I can confirm there was a convoy," he told BBC World Service. "But I cannot confirm what the big fish was".


    "The capital city has erupted in celebration," says the BBC's Caroline Hawley in Tripoli. "The more we do not get denials from the NTC, the more people will believe it is true," she says.

    Nasr Anaizi\u00a0

    tweets: #Tripoli\u00a0Ships in the harbour are sounding their horns. I am still exerting so much effort to restrain my excitement.


    NTC forces have been celebrating after claiming control of Gaddafi's home town of Sirte.

    Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebration in the center of Sirte
    Ali in Tripoli

    Gaddafi was discredited in Libyan hearts on February 17th. His capture marks the end of his reign over Libya and the start of a new chapter in our country's history.


    "I just hope it can be confirmed that he has been captured. It will finally bring justice and peace," Tripoli resident Amani told the BBC. "If the whole of Libya is freed, but Gaddafi is still out there, I don't think we will find that peace we are seeking," she says.


    An anti-Gaddafi fighter climbs up a lamp post in Sirte to raise the flag of the new Libya.

    The new Libyan flag being raised in Sirte

    AFP has obtained a mobile phone image apparently of Col Gadadfi during his arrest. The picture shows a man who bears a strong resemblance to Gaddafi wearing blood-soaked clothing and with blood across his face. However the authenticity of the image has not been verified.


    CNN are also reporting the unsubstantiated rumours of Col Gaddafi's capture but stressing that the claims remain unconfirmed.

    But Al Jazeera has gone further, with a report headlined: Muammar Gaddafi killed in gun battle.


    "The city is going completely wild - it is quite deafening," Vivienne Walt, with Time Magazine in Tripoli, tells BBC World Service.


    A US State Department official has told the BBC that at this time they cannot confirm media reports of the capture or killing of Muammar Gaddafi.


    If you believe pictures speak louder than words, have look at our slideshow depicting anti-Gaddafi forces capturing Sirte.


    Nato aircraft on Thursday morning struck two pro-Gaddafi military vehicles in the vicinity of Sirte, a spokesman said. "At approximately 08:30 local time (GMT+2) today, Nato aircraft struck two pro-Gaddafi forces military vehicles which were part of a larger group manoeuvring in the vicinity of Sirte," Nato spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie said in a statement.


    The UK's Ministry of Defence said it was not known if Col Gaddafi had been in the convoy. "It was targeted on the basis that this was the last of the pro-Gaddafi forces fleeing Sirte," a spokesman said. RAF fighters were not involved in the attack, although RAF reconnaissance aircraft were in the area.


    Nato has not yet confirmed Col Gaddafi's arrest.


    Libya's transitional authorities say Col Gaddafi has died - AFP reports. A similar report was carried earlier on Reuters (see 1256). However this has not been confirmed.


    Mid-ranking NTC officials are telling various BBC outlets that they are confident the rumours of Col Gaddafi's death are true. Speaking to the BBC News Channel, Abdullah Kenshill - the NTC's chief negotiator - says the former Libyan leader was killed by NTC forces and Nato wasn't involved. "It's Libyan people and Libyan forces who had this honour," he says.


    A summary of events so far: Libya's transitional authorities say they have captured Col Muammer Gaddafi, the country's former leader - although the arrest has not been officially confirmed. An NTC fighter told the BBC he found Col Gaddafi hiding in a hole in Sirte and the former leader begged him not to shoot. Some reports say Col Gaddafi has been wounded, others that he has been killed. The news came after NTC forces said they had won control of Sirte, Col Gaddafi's hometown. Libya's NTC say they will hold a press conference shortly.


    Gaddafi loyalists were taken prisoner by NTC fighters from the centre of Sirte.

    Gaddafi loyalists taken prisoner

    Abdullah Razad, who represents Tripoli in the NTC, told the corporation's Russian Service: "I got confirmation of his death a couple of minutes ago. This is it. What other confirmation do you need?"


    Nick Clegg, the UK's deputy prime minister, tells the BBC that if reports of Col Gaddafi's capture are true it represents "a very significant further step for peace and freedom in the whole region", adding that it could mean "a new beginning for Libya".


    More reports are coming in saying Col Gaddafi has died. Libya's Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam said he has confirmed that Col Gaddafi was dead from fighters who said they saw the body. He said he expects the prime minister to confirm the death soon, noting that past reports emerged "before making 100% confirmation."

    Feb 17 Voices

    tweets: LPC #Sirte: body of #Gaddafi will be examined by doctor in #Misrata before cause of death will be announced. [Seeking confirmation] (LPC is short for Live Phone Call)


    "Our people in Sirte saw the body... Mustafa Abdul-Jalil will confirm it soon," Mahmoud Shammam told The Associated Press. "Revolutionaries say Gaddafi was in a convoy and that they attacked the convoy."


    BBC political correspondent Norman Smith reports that UK government sources say they are expecting confirmation "soon" from Abdul Jalil over capture of Gaddafi.


    Pro-NTC Libya TV continues to report that Col Gaddafi has been killed, adding that the ex-Libyan leader's son Mutassim, as well as security chief Mansour Daw and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi have been captured and transferred to Misrata on an air ambulance.

    Jonny Hallam, BBC producer in Tripoli

    tweets: Iman from our local mosque in #Tripoli is exclaiming 'praise and thanks to god' on a very loud speaker. #Feb17

    Al Arabiya English

    tweets: Al Arabiya has been granted permission to photograph Muammar #Gaddafi's body. #Gadhafi


    Meanwhile, Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam is believed to still be at large in the southern Libya desert, an NTC member has told al-Jazeera.

    1429: Alan Fisher Al Jazeera correspondent

    tweets: Aljazeera's Tony Birtley says he has seen mobile phone footage which shows #Gaddafi was alive when he was captured


    Here, a NTC fighter looks through a large concrete pipe where Col Gaddafi was allegedly captured, according to reports from the AFP news agency.

    A man looking in a hole where Col Gaddafi was allegedly captured

    AFP is reporting that Gaddafi's son Mutassim was found dead in Sirte.


    The EU has hailed the "end of an era of despotism", reports AFP.


    BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith says Downing Street is awaiting confirmation about the precise situation regarding Col Gaddafi before making any comment. Our correspondent says it will be a "significant moment" for Prime Minister David Cameron if reports of Col Gaddafi's capture are true because involvement in Libya was "a huge call for him".


    "More and more officials here are saying he has been killed," says the BBC's Caroline Hawley in Tripoli.


    An anti-Gaddafi fighter burns a Libyan flag in Sirte as the town falls from the dictator's control.

    Anti-Gaddafi fighter

    An NTC official tells Al-Jazeera that Col Gaddafi's most prominent son, Saif al-Islam, is still believed to be at large in Libya's desert.


    Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee, tells the Interfax news agency the capture of Col Gaddafi, if proved to be true, "will not mark a turning point in the Libyan conflict". He says there is no reason to think the situation in Libya will "normalise" if the rumours are confirmed.


    NTC vice-chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga confirms that Col Gaddafi is dead - Reuters.


    A gold-plated gun, said to have been owned by the former Libyan leader, has been brandished by those who say he has been captured.

    Allegedly the gold-plated gun of ousted Libyan leader

    Here is a video interview with a man who claims he saw Col Gaddafi being shot in abdomen.


    More from NTC vice-chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga - he's quoted as saying that the liberation of all of Libya will be announced within hours.


    Al-Jazeera has shown what it says is an exclusive picture of Col Gaddafi's body being dragged along the ground.


    There have been fears over reprisals following about seven months of violence in Libya. Two EU leaders - Herman van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso - are now stressing the importance of a "broad based reconciliation process".


    Libyans have been celebrating in Martyrs' Square, Tripoli, after hearing reports that Col Gaddafi - who ruled the country for 42 years - was killed in Sirte.

    Libyans celebrate in Tripoli
    1514: Moez, in Tripoli, Libya,

    tells the BBC: "I am totally overwhelmed. There are grown men in my office who are crying at this news. This is very symbolic. Gaddafi was the face and image of Libya for 40 years. Today marks the start of a new Libya."


    The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse in Sirte says he's getting the sense of huge surprise that Col Gaddafi was apparently found there - many thought he was elsewhere in Libya or had fled to another country.


    "Stores are open and they are giving out things for free," says 19-year-old student Hadil, in Tripoli, who was in a lecture when she heard reports of Col Gaddafi's capture. She tells the BBC World Service: "God will punish him. We have seen 42 years of hell, so it's all uphill from here."


    The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse says he has spoken to the man who claims to have captured Col Gaddafi. The man told our correspondent the former Libyan leader was hiding in a hole in the centre of Sirte and said "don't shoot".


    Here's a grab of that image from Al-Jazeera purporting to show Col Gaddafi's body being dragged along the street.

    Grab from Al-Jazeera purporting to show Col Gaddafi's body, 20 October 2011

    In an update bearing an "urgent" caption, pro-NTC Libya TV reports that Col Gaddafi's body has arrived in Misrata.


    A quick recap of today's dramatic events for those just joining us: Officials from Libya's transitional authorities say that Col Muammar Gaddafi has been killed and several of his entourage have died or been captured. The news came moments after Libya's transitional fighters said they had finally taken control of the Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte - and nearly two months after the fall of Tripoli.

    1531: Breaking News

    Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril tells a news conference in Tripoli that Col Gaddafi has been killed - Associated Press.


    AP quotes Mr Jibril as saying: "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed."


    Al-Jazeera is reporting that Col Gaddafi's body has been placed in a mosque in Misrata.


    It's worth recalling that Misrata suffered a brutal siege at the hands of pro-Gaddafi fighters earlier this year. Forces from the coastal city have subsequently played a central role in the advance on Tripoli and the battle for Sirte.


    Libyan ambassador to the UK, speaking in London, says that Libyan freedom fighters have finally succeeded "in drawing the curtains on Gaddafi's crimes... Today Libya's future begins."


    The Daily Beast website has an interview with relatives of those who died in the Lockerbie bombing. Brian Flynn, who lost his brother, says the reports of Col Gaddafi's death suggest "the long trail to justice is coming to an end".


    Reuters is reporting that one of its contacts has seen a video of Col Gaddafi's son Mutassim lying on a bed and covered in blood, but alive.


    Mahmud Nacua, Libya's ambassador to the UK, says the Libyans are "looking forward to a promising future".

    Mahmud Nacua, Libya's ambassador in the UK

    A source has told the BBC that pro-Gaddafi forces had been surrounded in a handful of buildings in the North West of Sirte. A convoy of vehicles may have been trying to break out when Nato warplanes attacked. But the BBC's Jonathan Beale says it's still not known whether there is a direct link between the strike by Nato warplanes and the death of Colonel Gaddafi - as reported on the ground.

    1556: Breaking News

    Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has told a news conference Col Gaddafi is dead, it is confirmed.


    Prime Minister David Cameron says today is a day to "remember all of Col Gaddafi's victims". He adds that the Libyan people now have a better chance of building a "strong and democratic future".

    Prime Minister David Cameron

    PM Jibril says he has unconfirmed reports that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is in a convoy fleeing Sirte - that sounds different to earlier speculation that Saif al-Islam was roaming the desert.


    David Cameron says he is proud of the role the UK played in bringing about the end of Col Gaddafi's regime.


    Libyan refugees in Tunisia celebrate outside their embassy in Tunis after hearing reports of Col Gaddafi's death.

    Libyan refugees in Tunisia celebrate

    "I think today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi's victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan Semtex," says David Cameron, the UK's prime minister.


    Reuters is now reporting that Mutassim Gaddafi, the son who was reported all along to have remained in Sirte, has been killed, according to an NTC military commander.


    Libyans have expressed some surprise that Col Gaddafi was found in Sirte. But they might be more surprised by a report on NTC TV that Col Gaddafi's former security chief Mansour Daw was among those captured. Daw was widely reported last month to have fled to Niger.

    Malik L in Libya

    tweets: I will never forget this day nor the city I arrived in yesterday. Sitting in #Derna near Sahaba Mosque, receiving the news that #gaddafi is dead


    There are now reports that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, said to be fleeing Sirte in a convoy, has been encircled and is under attack.


    French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has hailed the "end of 42 years of tyranny" in Libya.


    Here's a reminder of the Gaddafi family tree, and the roles and relationships of the former Libyan leader's closest family.


    PM Jibril says NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil will declare the liberation of Libya later on Thursday, or on Friday at the latest - Reuters.


    Mohammed, a resident of Misrata, claims he has been to the mosque in his city to which Col Gaddafi's body has been taken. Speaking to a producer for BBC World Have Your Say, he says: "It's definitely him, it's his hair, his face, I would know it anywhere - all Libyan would."


    Mr Jibril is also quoted as requesting that Algeria hand over the Gaddafi family members who have taken refuge there. Col Gaddafi's wife and three of his children - Aisha, Muhammad and Hannibal - fled to Algeria in August.


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon says people should recognise that "this is only the end of the beginning", adding: "Now is the time for all Libyans to come together". He says this is "a time for healing and rebuilding" and "not for revenge".


    Mr Ban says Col Gaddafi's death marks a "historic transition for Libya".

    1634: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Interesting, I thought, the tone of the prime minister's statement. No sense of triumphalism and certainly no claims of a victory. I imagine, privately, David Cameron must surely feel vindicated because the Libyan enterprise was a big political risk. There were plenty at the time warning him of the potential of getting sucked into an Iraq-style quagmire.


    British opposition leader Ed Miliband says the death of Col Gaddafi "marks the end of a tragic period in Libyan history marked by brutality and repression" and said he was proud of the role of British forces in the "cause".

    Moez in Tripoli, Libya

    tweets: In today's #Libya, death of #Gaddafi largely symbolic more than anything and will help people to close many chapters/move on #feb17


    First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said the Lockerbie bombing of 1988 remains "an open case" and that Scotland would pursue any leads brought about by recent events in Libya.


    An update of events so far today: The Libyan prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, has announced the country's former leader Col Muammar Gaddafi is dead, confirming earlier reports. The transitional authorities said he had been wounded in the battle for his home town of Sirte, where Nato carried out an airstrike on Thursday morning. There have been wild celebrations on the streets of Sirte and in the capital, Tripoli. See here for Col Gaddafi's obituary.


    Here you can see footage of NTC Vice Chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga announcing Col Gaddafi's death.


    NTC official Abdel Majid Mlegta has told Reuters that Col Gaddafi's son Mutassim, who died during his father's capture, was killed by NTC forces. "He was trying to fight back and he was resisting them," he said.


    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says he hopes for a new era of peace and democracy in Libya, AFP reports.

    Mohammed Ali Abdallah of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya

    tweets this unconfirmed report: The young man who killed Gaddafi is 18 Yr old Ahmed Shaibani, a new hero is born #Feb17 #Libya #GameOver


    A man waves a Libyan flag from his car near the Libyan embassy in London as people gather to celebrate the death of Col Gaddafi.

    A man waves a Libyan flag in London

    The details surrounding Col Gaddafi's death remain unclear. Here, we piece together what we know of Gaddafi's final hours in Sirte.

    1704: Mohamed, a business man in Tripoli, Libya,

    tells the BBC: "Our present environment will be improved. We have been waiting for this news. Libya will become a very safe place. The business community here will be very happy, we will be able to resume our businesses. We are thankful to the US, to France and to David Cameron for their help."

    @ChangeinLibya in Tripoli, Libya:

    tweets: Saying that there are celebrations in every single inch of Tripoli and Libya is an understatement. You have to see it. #Libya #Tripoli


    More reaction from Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle. "After decades of dictatorship, we hope the people of Libya can open a new, peaceful and democratic chapter for their country," he said in a statement.


    Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has welcomed events as the start of the democratic process in Libya. "The liberation of Sirte must signal...the start of a process agreed by the NTC to establish a democratic system in which all groups in the country have their place and where fundamental freedoms are guaranteed," Mr Sarkozy said in a statement.


    Mr Sarkozy said now was the time for "reconciliation in unity and freedom", according to Reuters news agency.


    DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson says death of Col Gaddafi paves the way for the settlement of legal claims by IRA victims in Northern Ireland. Mr Donaldson says Semtex from Libya was used in attacks such as the Warrington bombing in 1993.

    Abdul Mounem in Libya

    emails to the BBC's Arabic service: The death of Gaddafi is considered the real end of dictatorships, not only in Libya but in the rest of the world.


    Libyan nationals embrace in Malta after hearing that Col Gaddafi has been killed in Sirte.

    Libyan nationals embrace in Malta after hearing news that Col Gaddafi has been killed

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned that Col Gaddafi's death is "only the end of the beginning" and said Libyans must refrain from acts of retribution. He said: "Now is the time for all Libyans to come together... Combatants on all sides must lay down their arms in peace. This is the time for healing and rebuilding, for generosity of spirit, not for revenge."


    The Vatican's number two, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said he was praying for "peace in the country and democracy" in Libya. "We have to work for the Libyan people and so that everybody will cooperate towards the reconstruction" of the war-torn country, he said.


    Our monitoring staff at Caversham report that Al-Jazeera TV is showing footage of Gaddafi being taken away alive by Libyan fighters. The screen caption reads: "Urgent footage of Gaddafi before his killing".


    "There is a very, very strong feeling that Gaddafi was a man who had done evil to his country," says Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya. "It is a relief" that Col Gaddafi is dead he tells BBC World Service, but "our role has been played - it's now up to the Libyans to make the best of the new situation," he says.

    Libyan leader Col Gaddafi during a news conference inside his Bedouin tent on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya, 12 January 1986

    See images of Col Gaddafi in our picture gallery, including one of him in September 1969 just a few weeks after his coup d'etat ousted King Idris. Here is the former Libyan leader during the 1980s.


    The African Union says it has lifted its suspension of Libya's membership, reports Reuters. The new Libyan government will take the seat, the AU said.

    Broadcaster Al Jazeera

    tweets: Al Jazeera is receiving unconfirmed reports that Saif al-Islam, Muammar #Gaddafi's son, has been arrested

    Juan Sebastian Pantoja

    writing on the BBC Mundo facebook page, says: Libyan people have waited a long time for Gaddafi's death. Today it's the beginning of democracy for them. They knew that with Gaddafi, peace in Lybia would never be assured. Now that he is not an obstacle any more they will move forward with the development of their country.

    Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar in Iraq

    emails: Another Arab dictatorship has fallen. Libyan people need to realise that there is much work ahead of them. They must keep themselves united and not fall into the trap of sectarianism as the Iraqis did. Long live democracy!

    @Weddady in Massachusetts, US

    tweets: "Gaddafi didn't get a trial": tell that to Mansour Al-Kikhiya or Fathi Al-Jahmi or Hamed Al-Shuwehdi's families #Libya #Justice


    More on the images carried by al-Jazeera, which appear to show Col Gaddafi before he died. The former Libyan leader was shown with a bloody face, being manhandled by a group of NTC fighters. He was seen struggling at one point and being pushed against a car and struck on the head with a pistol, Reuters reports. Al-Jazeera said the pictures were aired by a Libyan TV channel.

    Al Arabiya English

    tweets: NTC fighter: "We did not know #Gadhafi was there until he shot at us first" - Al Arabiya


    The NTC's Qatar-based Libya TV, also known as Libya al-Ahrar, has reported that Col Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam has been killed. The report has not been confirmed. Earlier reports suggested his convoy had been surrounded by NTC fighters in southern Libya.


    tweets: People distributing candy, chocolate, water, and even flowers #Tripoli


    UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says the Nato countries never doubted that military action was the right thing for Libya: "We knew we had to act to save civilian life - that's what we did and I think we felt vindicated all along, because Libya does now have the opportunity to become a free and democratic country, on far better terms with its neighbours and the rest of the world than was ever the case under Col Gaddafi."

    Al Arabiya English

    tweets: The reports about the death of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi has been confirmed: Al Arabiya correspondent


    The Pentagon has said it is not clear if Col Gaddafi was part of a convoy bombed by Nato aircraft on Thursday morning. "We know there was an air strike on a small convoy of vehicles that were deemed to be and in the act of threatening Libyan civilians" outside of Sirte, spokesman Capt John Kirby told reporters. "But there's no indication or identification of the people that were in that convoy," Mr Kirby said.


    Reacting to the news of Col Gaddafi's death, US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says: "This was a tyrant who has been killing his own people, and, of course, is responsible for the lives of American citizens lost in the Lockerbie attack. And I think people across the world recognise that the world is a better place without Muammar Gaddafi."


    tweets: LPC #Misrata: Growing number of as-yet unconfirmed reports of the capture of #Gaddafi's son Saif are circulating in the city #Libya


    "Everyone should be better off without Col Gaddafi," writes the Guardian's Middle East editor Ian Black.


    Outside the Libyan embassy in London, Ramadan Muttawa, 46, draped in the Libyan flag, says: "It's all over. We got rid of him. Hold your head up high. Libya is free. Forty-two years of tyranny is over."


    German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that "the path is now finally clear for a fresh political start, in peace (in Libya)", according to Reuters. But she stresses that Libya should now carry out political reforms to "ensure the achievements of the Arab Spring cannot be undone".


    Abdullah walking towards Green Square in Tripoli tells BBC World Have Your Say: "There are lots of people, lots of noise. Everyone is happy. It's a fantastic moment."

    British Libyan Ahmed Sanalla in Benghazi

    tweets: Thursday 20th October a day that will live forever in #Libyan history....#Libya #Feb17 #Gaddafi


    Amnesty International calls for an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Col Gaddafi. Footage broadcast by Arab satellite television stations appears to show he was captured alive.


    UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says Libya still has problems to overcome: "Clearly, we're very pleased that with Sirte falling and with the pro-Gaddafi forces pretty much driven out of Bani Walid as well, and with Gaddafi himself removed from the scene, Libya is able to move on to the next phase - but there are still challenges in that phase."


    Celebrations earlier today outside the Libyan embassy in central London:

    Celebrations this afternoon outside the Libyan embassy in central London
    1828: Gabriel Gatehouse BBC News, Sirte

    says that - amid all the celebrations - fighting was still going on just a couple of hours ago. The fear is, he adds, that some pro-Gaddafi fighters, including snipers, are still roaming the city.


    In the Atlantic magazine, author Howard W. French looks at how Col Gaddafi Reshaped Africa. He says the former Libyan leader's "dark legacy" includes some of the continent's worst regimes and conflicts.


    If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of dramatic events in Libya. We're bringing you the latest updates from our correspondents, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or Twitter.


    Andrew, a Ugandan in Juba, South Sudan, tells BBC World Have Your Say the news of Col Gaddafi's death is very sad. He says: "Gaddafi gave African countries lots of money."


    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "congratulates the brotherly Libyan people and transitional council for being freed at last from tyrant Gaddafi", Iraq's al-Sharqiyah News channel reports.


    Libyan TV has shown amateur video of Col Gaddafi shortly before he died in Sirte. The footage, shot using a mobile phone, contains graphic images that some people may find distressing.


    The former Libyan leader's death "marks only the beginning of a hoped-for political, economic and moral renaissance", according to the Economist, which says "reconciliation must also be pursued".


    In a statement, the families of the victims of the Pan Am 103 flight, which was bombed over Lockerbie, say: "We want to commend the Libyan people for their courage and determination. Their freedom has come at a very high cost of their loved ones, so we all owe them a debt of gratitude. We also want to commend the Nato forces."

    1905: @live2Tripoli in Tripoli, Libya

    tweets: Beautiful vibes in #Libya today and extending to the night! #allahuakbar


    If you want more international reaction, the BBC News website is now running this piece.


    US President Barack Obama says Col Gaddafi's death marks "the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya".


    In his statement, President Obama says: "This is a momentous day in the history of Libya."

    US President Barack Obama

    More from President Obama. He says that "the Gaddafi regime has come to an end" and "the dark shadow of the tyranny has been lifted" in Libya. He also reaffirms his country's commitment to being partners with the Libyan transitional authorities.


    Looking to the future, Mr Obama says Libyans have "a long and winding road to democracy" ahead of them. And, addressing the people of the north African country directly, he adds: "You have won your revolution."

    1924: Caroline Hawley BBC News, Tripoli

    says Libya faces huge challenges ahead. The country is still not under central control but, at the moment, the Libyans are celebrating.

    1932: Paul Adams BBC News, Washington

    asks: "Does today's news vindicate an American strategy that some have dubbed 'leading from behind'? Or does the death of Muammar Gaddafi come despite months of American dithering?" He adds that "most Americans are too pre-occupied with their own economic problems to care one way or the other, but analysts and politicians will debate the merits of President Obama's Libya strategy for some time to come".

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague

    tweets: Qadhafi made #Libya a byword for violence & stifled freedom. Now Libyans will be known for courage & persistence in gaining their freedom


    Symbols of Col Gaddafi's rule, such as this sculpture of the Green Book, have been destroyed.

    A sculpture of Col Gaddafi's Green Book being destroyed
    1944: John Simpson World Affairs Editor, BBC News

    recalls in this article that Col Gaddafi was so eccentric that it sometimes obscured the serious unpleasantness of the regime which he ran for 42 years.

    1944: Ian Pannell, BBC News, in Washington

    says: "I think President Obama is feeling that his foreign policy strategy has been vindicated - that his critics have been proven wrong."


    tweets: My cousin in Tripoli: "coffee shops are open and everything is for free!" #feb17 #libya


    Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says in a statement: "After 42 years, Col Gaddafi's rule of fear has finally come to an end. I call on all Libyans to put aside their differences and work together to build a brighter future."


    Mohammad Miloud, a 29-year-old HR manager in Tripoli, tells BBC World Have Your Say: "My feelings are mixed. I am happy, there are fireworks and everyone is celebrating. But I am worried about the future of Libya - how can we achieve democracy? I don't think the NTC can do it."


    The drain where Col Gaddafi was reportedly found by NTC forces is likely to have a place in Libyan history.

    The drain where Col Gaddafi was reportedly found by NTC forces
    2003: Mark Mardell BBC North America editor

    writes in his blog: "Gaddafi's death will be a relief to President Obama and his administration. That's on the fairly simple grounds that he backed Nato action, called for him to go, and now he's gone."


    More reaction from Nato (see 1952 entry). Officials from the alliance say the governing body will meet on Friday to discuss whether to end the seven-month bombing campaign over Libya.

    Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 news,

    tweets: Fighters and staff at Radisson #tripoli beating drums and singing in celebration of #Gadaffi death. Huge noise!

    2017: Wyre Davies BBC News, Tripoli

    says there is very little love lost for Col Gaddafi in the Libyan capital. He says many people are looking forward - although with some trepidation - to what may come in the future.


    The AFP news agency reports that Egypt's government said it hoped Col Gaddafi's death would "open a new chapter" in the country's history. In a statement, Cairo said it was "ready to support the Libyan people in reconstructing their country".


    Libya's transitional authorities plan to bury Col Gaddafi in a secret location, according to Al-Arabiya TV.

    2028: Rana Jawad BBC News, Tripoli

    describes in this article "manic celebrations" in Tripoli as the news came in of the former Libyan leader's death.

    US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice

    tweets: The people of #Libya will face great challenges in the days ahead. As they do, the United States will stand with them. #Qadhafi


    UK-based Libyans tell the BBC they are "full of optimism for the future" following news of Col Gaddafi's death.


    The NTC is set to announce the liberation of Libya on Saturday, the Reuters news agency reports.


    An NTC official now says Col Gaddafi's son, Mutassim, was killed and his body was taken to Misrata, Reuters reports.


    For an in-depth look at the background to Col Gaddafi's death, this BBC News guide to the events of recent months charts the fall of the former Libyan leader.


    The Syria-based Pro-Gaddafi Al-Ra'y TV says "there is no truth" in earlier media reports about the death or arrest of the ex-Libyan leader's son, Saif al-Islam.


    For those of you just joining us, here's a quick recap: Libya's ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi was killed following an assault on his birthplace of Sirte. The precise details of his death are not yet clear. News of his demise has been greeted with jubilation across much of the country he ruled for 42 years. Meanwhile, several members of the international community have called for Libyans to now unite.


    Reuters news agency is reporting that one of its correspondents has seen the body of Mutassim Gaddafi in the city of Misrata.


    Muammar Gaddafi was in good health and armed when captured, Libya's interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril tells a news conference. Gaddafi is said to have been shot in the right arm or hand as he was taken to a pick-up truck, then shot in the head in crossfire as the vehicle began moving.


    "Gaddafi was taken out of a sewage pipe... he didn't show any resistance. When we started moving him he was hit by a bullet in his right arm and when they put him in a truck he did not have any other injuries," PM Jibril said, reading from a forensics report.


    "When the car was moving it was caught in crossfire between the revolutionaries and Gaddafi forces in which he was hit by a bullet in the head," PM Jibril adds, reading from the forensics report, according to Reuters. "The forensic doctor could not tell if it came from the revolutionaries or from Gaddafi's forces."


    The Libyan interim prime minister adds that Gaddafi died just a few minutes before reaching hospital.


    David Mundell, Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, where Lockerbie is located, said: "[Gaddafi] brought death and despair to so many and our thoughts should be with them at this time. I hope that answers will now emerge to the many questions still surrounding the Lockerbie bombing."


    Susan Cohen, of New Jersey, lost her 20-year-old daugher at Lockerbie. She told AP news agency she would mark Gaddafi's death by opening a bottle of expensive champagne: "It's great now that we know. I didn't want him to go to a trial. When you have a tyrant, a monster like him, we're all better off with him dead."


    The body of Mutassim Gaddafi, one of Col Gaddafi's sons, has been laid out in a private home in Misrata, a Reuters reporter at the scene says. People have been crowding round the body to take pictures on their mobile phones, the correspondent says.


    Reuters reports that Mutassim Gaddafi's body was laid on blankets on the floor, covered from the waist down in a blue plastic sheet, and that there were wounds on his chest and neck.


    Col Gaddafi is the first leader to be slain in the Arab Spring uprisings. His death will not help the heads of autocratic regimes elsewhere sleep easy.

    Mona Eltahawy

    tweets: Dear #Libyan sisters and brothers: I salute your courage and tenacity for freedom and have full faith in ur ability to build a Free #Libya


    Mahmoud Shammam, Libyan Information Minister, has said Mutassim Gaddafi - one of Col Gaddafi's sons and his former national security adviser - was found hiding with his father. Mutassim is believed to be dead.


    Outside Libya's embassy in London, demonstrators have been celebrating. Najwa Creui, 40, who has worked in Britain as a teacher for 16 years, told AP news agency: "I smiling. It's the day Libyans have been waiting for as long as I have been alive."


    Iraqi government official Ali al-Dabbagh tells Reuters: "I reminded Gaddafi of the fate of Saddam Hussein when I met him, because [Saddam] killed his people. Now Gaddafi met the same fate." He also warned other Arab leaders to take note.

    2227: The New York Times Lens blog

    has published a striking picture gallery by photojournalist Mauricio Lima capturing the agony and terror of battle in Sirte. One can almost hear the rattle of gunfire and the howls of the wounded.


    Niger's Foreign Minister Mohammed Bazoum has told Reuters Western countries have informed him Col Gaddafi's ex-intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, has crossed into northern Niger. The minister said it would be difficult to confirm the report as the region was so remote.


    The jerky images of a bloodied Gaddafi - the self-styled king of kings, this modern day Ozymandias, a man whose dream was to lead a United States of Africa - staggering under blows from armed men, as he is dragged to his death, apparently from a sewage pipe, is a potent metaphor of power's transitory nature.


    The Daily Beast has aggregated reaction from commentators to the events in Libya.


    Libya al-Hurra TV, a local channel, is reporting a doctor in Tripoli as saying celebratory gunfire has left more than 60 people injured, seven seriously.


    Others loyal to Col Gaddafi, such as his son Saadi, have sheltered in Niger. Its government has resisted calls from Libya's new leaders to hand them over. Niger's foreign minister says Thursday's events do not change that position.


    Not all world leaders are giving today's events the thumbs-up. According to AFP news agency, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told reporters: "We shall remember Gaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr. They assassinated him. It is another outrage."


    US Vice-President Joe Biden, in New Hampshire, has told the Associated Press that the American intervention in Libya has been a success that could become a blueprint for the administration's foreign policy in the future. "This is more of the prescription for how to deal with the world as we go forward than it has been in the past," he said.


    So, eight months after the Libyan revolt began, seven months after Nato sent in the warplanes and two months after the fall of Tripoli, Muammar Gaddafi is dead. As yet another tumultuous day in the Arab Spring uprisings draws to close, thanks for following the BBC's coverage. You can keep across the story as it develops here.


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