Libya's Col Muammar Gaddafi killed, says NTC

 

Amateur video of Col Gaddafi shortly before he was killed

Libya's ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has been killed after an assault on his birthplace of Sirte, officials say.

Acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril announced the death, and later said the colonel had been killed in a crossfire between Gaddafi loyalists and fighters from the transitional authorities.

He confirmed that Col Gaddafi had been taken alive, but died of bullet wounds minutes before reaching hospital.

Video footage suggests he was also dragged through the streets.

It is unclear from the footage, broadcast by al-Jazeera TV, whether he was alive or dead at the time.

US President Barack Obama said it was a "momentous day" for Libya, now that tyranny had fallen.

He said the country had a "long and winding road towards full democracy", but the US and other countries would stand behind Tripoli.

Col Gaddafi was toppled from power in August after 42 years in charge of the country.

Golden gun

He was fighting his last stand in Sirte alongside two of his sons, Mutassim and Saif al-Islam, according to reports.

At the scene

Residents swarmed the streets of the capital, waving flags and cheering from the windows of their cars.

Tripoli's myriad of streets in various districts has been gridlocked for hours.

People and fighters manning checkpoints shouted out "God is Great", as some distributed mints and biscuits - later dubbed "revolutionary treats" - to passing cars.

There are many who will be wondering "what next?" for Libya as it embarks on a new era unobtainable for almost half a century.

But for many Libyans tonight, it is a time to rejoice.

Acting Justice Minister Mohammad al-Alagi told the AP news agency Saif al-Islam had been captured and taken to hospital with a leg wound.

A corpse that officials identified as that of Mutassim has been laid out in a house in the city of Misrata, where locals have been queuing to take pictures.

The body of Col Gaddafi has also reportedly been taken to Misrata.

Nato, which has been running a bombing campaign in Libya for months, said it had carried out an air strike earlier on Thursday.

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said French jets had fired warning shots to halt a convoy carrying Col Gaddafi as it tried to flee Sirte.

He said Libyan fighters had then descended and taken the colonel.

Proof of Col Gaddafi's fate came in grainy pieces of video, first circulated among fighters, and then broadcast by international news channels.

The first images showed a bloodied figure presumed to be Col Gaddafi.

Later, video emerged of the colonel being bundled on to the back of a pick-up truck after being captured alive.

None of the video footage has been independently verified.

A video grab from al-Jazeera TV apparently showing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's corpse Al-Jazeera TV broadcast footage it says showed Col Gaddafi's body

Mr Jibril, number two in the National Transitional Council (NTC), held a news conference in Tripoli to confirm the colonel's death.

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," he said.

Later, he told journalists that a "forensic report" had concluded that the colonel had died from bullet wounds after he had been captured and driven away.

"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," said Mr Jibril, quoting from the report.

"The forensic doctor could not tell if it came from the revolutionaries or from Gaddafi's forces."

Earlier, some NTC fighters gave a different account of the colonel's death, saying he had been shot when he tried to escape.

One NTC fighter told the BBC that he found Col Gaddafi hiding in a hole, and the former leader had begged him not to shoot.

The fighter showed reporters a golden pistol he said he had taken from Col Gaddafi.

Arabic TV channels showed images of troops surrounding two large drainage pipes where the reporters said Col Gaddafi was found.

'Full of challenges'

Libyans gathered in towns and cities across the country to celebrate the reports of the colonel's death.

The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse has visited the drain where Col Gaddafi was reportedly found by NTC forces

Groups of young men fired guns in the air, and drivers honked horns in celebration.

His death came after weeks of fierce fighting for Sirte, one of the last remaining pockets of resistance.

World leaders urged the NTC to carry through its promise to reform the country.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who had taken a leading role in Nato's intervention, said it was "a day to remember all of Col Gaddafi's victims".

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called it a "historic" moment, but warned: "The road ahead for Libya and its people will be difficult and full of challenges."

Officials said the NTC intended to announce the "liberation of the country" in the coming days, allowing them to begin pushing through democratic reforms that will lead to elections.

 

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  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 647.

    How many Libyans have been killed? For some reason I cannot find out this information, surely there must be records of it.

    Try and nationalise your oil and we will devastate your country, make your people think you are responsible for all their problems and ultimately kill you and your family.

    The pictures I saw of Libya looked like quite an affluent place indeed. He must have been terrible?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 646.

    Gaddaffi was a tyrant who no doubt caused a lot of pain and suffering to some of his people and promoted terrorism around the world. I was hoping however that he would be captured alive and brought to justice in an international court. The pictures of what seems to be a summary execution of an ex-national leader cannot be celerated and I indeed find them disturbing

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 645.

    Re: 627 - I think you missed the point. It is the Libyan people that removed Gaddafi, not the democracies of the world, we just helped them once he started murdering his own citizens. If democracy is so rubbish why does everyone want it ? Including our arab friends. Standing still and not changing and being repressed does not justify "control in the region". It was Libyans choice not yours.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 644.

    Now time to dish out the reconstruction contracts, arms and oil deals.
    Oh Happy days !! Why don't we take the same interest in the torture and imprisonment of medical staff in Bahrain ? They're on our 'side' and the US 6th Fleet needs a base from which to protect our interests in Saudi Arabia. Zimbabwe ? Nothing worth having. Hypocrites !

  • Comment number 643.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 642.

    Bully for the BBC in showing Maummar's body! One of the reason we have silent wars and dictators who believe they're above the law is that we also have spineless citizens who're apparently too delicate to interact with ugly truths. If you don't like what war looks like then maybe working so that the Gaddafis of the world are taken down, rather than being reactionary to mere pictures, might help.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 641.

    Now that Libya is new country under new civil leadership I assume the killer of Gadaffi (given that he’s admitted that Gadaffi begged him not to shoot) will stand trial for murder ? That’s what happens in civil democracies if you kill someone in cold blood.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 640.

    627 THE1CALLEDBUCK

    "They removed a leader who kept the region under control", blah, blah.

    Who did? The Libyan people did, that's who! And just what form of "control" is acceptable to you? Dictatorship? Stalin kept the Soviet Union under "control", guess how many lives that cost! Let the Libyans get on with it. They will.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 639.

    The latest film shows him captured alive, it would have been better for them to put him on trial but its always difficult to control these things when you have militia type armies in a civil war

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 638.

    after 42 years in power-no one dare to challenge his authority but when myth of power broken in the neighbouring Tunis, every Jackal become lion. 42 years what a mockery

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 637.

    The NTC has done the' cleaning up' for Bush and Blair, just as happened with Bin Laden nobody will hear the 'truth' of our policiticans involvement and double standards in open court. This is obviously state policy since the embarrassment caused by the capture alive of Saddam Hussein. Dead men tell no tales ! Not in my name.........

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 636.

    What we are witnessing is deindividuation. People are losing some of their usual individual perspective amongst a 'crazy mob' mentality created by the media.

    Those who scream for people's heads really need some 'alone time' to reassess their position in all this.

    I agree with those who are dismayed that the BBC have put up this picture so brazenly. It's utterly shameful!!!

  • Comment number 635.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 634.

    When `our' politicians become unpopular they jet out to one of their many homes overseas and write a bio.
    £££$$
    Do `our' politicians serve us OR themselves & corporate organisations.
    In most case its the latter.
    Whos calling the kettle black ?
    I would mind being `liberated' from our self serving politicians

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 633.

    Certainly killing a human being and totally destroying a country is not about oil. It better not be.
    We keep forgetting, that our actions always will draw an equal and opposite reaction. I wonder if anyone cares these days but only about the ill defined present.

  • Comment number 632.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 631.

    How is this execution any different to how the Americans killed Osama ? The Americans were equally wrong in executing bin Laden and other civilians in that compound. If an atrocity is committed by "Developed" countries, it's moral or in the name of democracy. If an African or Asian does the very same thing...exactly the opposite conclusion is drawn by the West. Makes my stomach turn.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 630.

    It doesn't look good that NATO played such a direct role in his death. It is difficult to see a scenario where summary execution is a positive thing and for NATO to have targeted his convoy immediately before he was shot will inevitably raise questions in some quarters regarding the legitimacy of this revolution, regardless of how "popular" it is.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 629.

    Very convenient that Gadaffi dead. The US and UK had plenty to be worried about if he had been tried at the International Criminal Court. Blair , Brown, Straw and others will breathe a sigh of relief that their underhand dealings will not come out at the court. Sadly we will now never get to the bottom of the Lockerbie tragedy something I am sure sits very nicely for the UK/US Govts.

  • rate this
    -13

    Comment number 628.

    Unless the UK wins a substantial share of the reconstruction contracts and oil at discounted rates, this whole episode will have been a waste of time.

    Mind you at least the tories haven't demeaned themselves by fawning over gadaffi like blair and brown.

 

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