Libya's Col Gaddafi killed in crossfire, says NTC

 

Amateur video of Col Gaddafi shortly before he was killed

Libya's Col Muammar Gaddafi was killed in crossfire after being captured in his birthplace of Sirte, officials say.

Acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said he had been shot in the head in an exchange between Gaddafi loyalists and National Transitional Council fighters.

He confirmed that Col Gaddafi, who had been taken alive, had died before reaching hospital.

Nato's governing body, meeting in the coming hours, is expected to declare an end to its Libyan bombing campaign.

Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that with the death of Col Gaddafi "that moment has now moved much closer".

"After 42 years, Col Gaddafi's rule of fear has finally come to an end," he said. "I call on all Libyans to put aside their differences and work together to build a brighter future."

Mahmoud Jibril: "He was injured with a shot to his head"

Wild scenes of celebration continued late into the night in towns and cities across Libya at news of the colonel's death.

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

In the capital, Tripoli, cars clogged the city centre.

Golden gun

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.

Video footage suggests Col Gaddafi was dragged through the streets.

At the scene

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

Streets in various districts have 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.

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

Later, Mr Jibril 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," he said, 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 by his captors 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.

US President Barack Obama said it was a "momentous day" for Libya.

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.

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

Nato air strike

A body that officials identified as that of Mutassim has been shown on Libyan TV.

A reporter with Reuters news agency described how the body of Mutassim - the former national security adviser - had been laid out on blankets on the floor of a house in the city of Misrata, while people jostled to take pictures of the corpse with their mobile phones.

The body of Col Gaddafi was also taken to Misrata.

There are conflicting reports as to the whereabouts of Saif al-Islam.

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

But another NTC official said his whereabouts were unknown.

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.

'Full of challenges'

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

Col Gaddafi's death came after weeks of fierce fighting for Sirte, one of the last remaining pockets of resistance.

A senior official, Mahmoud Shammam, told the BBC that fighting throughout Libya was over.

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."

China said the death of Col Gaddafi marked the turning of a page in Libya's history. It called for an inclusive political transition in Libya as soon as possible, to protect the unity of the country and restore social stability.

Russia's President Dimitry Medvedev said he hoped Libya could achieve a peaceful transition to a modern democratic state.

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.

 

More on This Story

Libya after Gaddafi

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 181.

    Russia and China are ruled undemocratically by bosses that do not tolerate dissent, and who themselves hijacked the popular rebellions that brought them to power. They cannot but feel anxious about Libya. All of their statements about Libya are spoken with a forked tongue.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 180.

    Sirte rat found in sewer ... exterminated accordingly. Oh dear, what a shame, never mind ;) And life moved on ...

    @175 – Uh oh, too late, we’ve seen the horrors of WW2 shown on television frequently. If you’re right, you’d think someone would have picked up on it by now.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 179.

    The NTC had the chance to show the world it was beginning on a democratic path, and better than Gaddafi by capturing him alive and taking him to trial. Instead they treated him like an animal, before killing him. Gaddafi looks terrified, old and spent in this footage, and by doing what they have done the NTC have shown themselves to be no better than Gaddafi himself.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 178.

    It's a little easy to take the moral high ground when accusing the NTC at having murdered Gaddafi. When they have seen friends and fellow fighters losing their lives to snipers in the last few days of this war, anything like this is possible. Gaddafi and his remaining troops could have have surrendered but chose to take it to the bitter end. The NTC were understandably in lynching mood.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 177.

    Gadhafi is a just senseless tyrant and i think he deserved what he got.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 176.

    Considering the rather graphic images I found elsewhere, I'd say the chances of crossfire equalling a bullet-hole to the left temple is rather staggering. Regardless of what the man did in his life, is it really something to rejoice - the taking of yet another life? Doesn't it make the killers just as brutal as the dictator they killed? Seems a bit hypocritical to me. As for world reaction....

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 175.

    ... Next excuse: He cut himseklf shaving with a samurai sword....

    Folks: I know the man was pretty shoddy (he has a bad name in Geneva, and that says it all), but at some point we will have to remember that Democracy is also rule of law. There is no compromise possible there. And one more thing: It is against international humanitarian law to display the dead. Even if it gets you visitors..

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 174.

    Lets hope that this country really can become a new and free nation and enjoy the wealth they have under ground, only time will tell so good luck to the Libyan people.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 173.

    I find it very hard to understand how people judge the NTC maybe he was killed in crossfire maybe he was killed by his own people, who knows.For now I think we should give the NTC the benefit of the doubt it is now that their true colors will show.Besides if things in Libya are the way they are now it is because of 42 years of oppression and an unrealistic cling to power from Gaddafi.Lets move on!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 172.

    I for 1 don't belive it was cross fire, he was murdered plain and simple revenge, thats not justice and our UK government and opposition rejoices in that makes me sick to my stomach with anger and shame. Sadam mubarake Charles Tayler even the Nazis got trials.

  • Comment number 171.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 170.

    Change is never bloodless, however now Gaddafi's is dead, hopefully it's time for people of Libya to start rebuild their society or are we just going witness many more years of revenge killings backed by those countries in west wanting oil.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 169.

    Lets not forget what he was responsible for in this counttry,Lockerbie,police woman Fletcher,just two of his diosgusting behaviour over 40 years of dictationship.He has had his just reward.Good riddance to him.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 168.

    "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," -claims Jibril.

    A man laid flat in the pick-up truck gets accidentally hit by fire in such a way that the bullet goes straight through his forehead (with entry point clearly seen on video) at about 90 degrees angle.

    Which is balistically impossible.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 167.

    All that will happen is a hard line islamic groups will start to make noises and form a political group promising a return to a "golden age" of islam is the only way to save libya. Sadly many libyians will believe them and any political opposition will be crushed.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 166.

    Am I only the one confused by all this. Only 3 years ago Tony Blair was meeting with Gadiffi, the Scottish Government handed back Megrahi. Gadiffi, we were lead to believe was "our friend" and a changed man!!! Anybody going to ask Blair his opinion now??

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 165.

    Now Gaddafi has gone and seeing as Great Britain and our allies appear to be standing up and fighting for supressed and abused citizens, what's next?
    Zimbabwe, North Korea, China...... or another oil rich nation..... hmmmmm

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 164.

    Soon have our hands on your lovely oil, should bring the price down nicely. And you will get democracy and capitalism, where every one gets their just share and there is no corruption, inflation etc. Do you really think Cameron gave any thought to civilains, the price of oil was just harming his re-election.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 163.

    Amazing to read the usual and tiresome comments about how the west has opened up the floodgates for oil now that Gaddafi has been deposed, while we also see comments about how the west genuflected with him to keep the oil flowing. Can't win can you?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 162.

    "I call on all Libyans to put aside their differences and work together to build a brighter future."
    ====================================
    How sentimental and patronising. Why don't we just tell them what this is really about. Do what you like, just so long as you now sell us your oil cheaper for 'liberating' you from one thug to be replaced by the crossfire gang!

 

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