Colonel Gaddafi Has Been Confirmed Dead After Begging For His Life
FUGITIVE Colonel Gaddafi was executed in cold blood in a drainage ditch desperately begging for his life, it emerged this afternoon.
As the NATO strike on Gaddafi’s convoy hit the lead vehicles his aides started trying to exit from cars and escape on foot, realising the game was up.
Then as Gaddafi and several aides tried to run into the safety of a drainage ditch they were shot dead by rebel fighters pursuing them on foot.
Libya’s national Transitional Council vice-chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga told a news conference in Benghaz: “We announce to the world that Muammar Gaddafi has been killed at the hands of the revolutionaries.
“We will announce the liberation of Libya within hours, maybe sooner.”
It was initially reported that Gaddafi had been wounded and taken into custody by ambulance but witnesses said he was found cowering in a concrete pipe, pleading for his life.
A large concrete pipe where Gaddafi is thought to have been hiding
The area where Gaddafi was captured
The 69 year-old despot was shot in the head and both legs after fleeing a final rebel assault on besieged Sirte, his birthplace and hometown.
Opposition fighters said he died of his wounds shortly after the attack at dawn as the remnants of his loyalist inner-circle were overrun within the city.
His bloodied corpse – eyes half open, a bloodied mouth and blood on his head – was displayed on live television and beamed all around the world.
Graphic video footage of Colonel Gaddafi’s body
Fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte
Fighters brandished his slimline gold 9mm Browning Hi-Power pistol, snatched from him as he lay dying in the dirt.
Libyan prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, told a news conference in Tripoli: “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”
He then called for Algeria to hand over Gaddafi’s family who fled there weeks ago.
Gaddafi was wanted by the international criminal court on charges of ordering the killing of civilians.
He was at one time believed to be hiding deep in the Sahara desert. His wife, two sons and a daughter fled to neighbouring Algeria shortly after Tripoli fell to rebel forces in August.
Only yesterday, a day before his death, Gaddafi was said by Jibril to have been recruiting fighters from other countries in an effort to destabilise the regime that replaced him.
Gaddafi’s remains were later taken to Misrata as witnessed revealed the assault on Sirte – which has been under siege for two months-was backed by NATO warplanes and naval warships.
One fighter claimed Gaddafi was shot dead by pursuers on foot close to two large drainage pipes by the roadside moments after NATO warplanes attacked his convoy.
TV footage showed troops surrounding the two large drainage pipes under a highway where it is believed to have been hunted down after fleeing a car.
Spray painted above the pipe openings were the words “contemptible Gaddafi” and “God is greatest”.
There was one corpse, apparently a Gaddafi loyalist, lying on the ground next to the openings.
Gaddafi’s body was placed in a mosque in Misrata, close to a commercial centre in the city’s Souq Tawansa neighbourhood.
NATO later confirmed its aircraft attacked two military vehicles near Sirte, saying: “At approximately 0830 local time (0630 GMT) NATO aircraft struck two pro-Gaddafi forces military vehicles which were part of a larger group moving in the vicinity of Sirte.”
Libyan Minister Mahmoud Shammam later confirmed that Gaddafi had been killed after he had personally spoken to fighters who said they saw the body.
Gaddafi’s death – shortly after being seized by rebel attackers – has finally ended the last remnants of his 42 year hold on Libya.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said his death promised a better future for the people he ruled for four decades.
He said: “People in Libya today have an even greater chance after this news of building themselves a strong and democratic future.”
David Cameron reacts to news of Gaddafi’s death
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state said she would breathe a sigh of relief as one more obstacle was removed.
One of the deposed leader’s sons Mo’tassim Gaddafi, was said to have been captured alive in Sirte by forces of the National Transitional Council.
There were claim that Said al-Islam, another of Gaddafi’s sons was still at large in the Libyan desert, although he is being sought by the war crimes tribunal.
Al Arabiya TV later showed images of Mo’tassim after his capture, lying alive on a bed and covered in blood.
Many of Gaddafi’s inner-circle have died in recent months but today the final remaining power figures were either taken alive or killed in fighting.
Libyan National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.
“He was also hit in his head.” the official said. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”
Sirte has been taken by the National Transitional Council
Colonel Gaddafi pictured in March
Revolutionary fighters celebrate the capture of Sirte
An anti-Gaddafi fighter prepares ammunition in the centre of Sirte
An image of Gaddafi next to a copy of the Economist among belongings in a Sirte house
Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate
Anti-Gaddafi fighters hug after the capture of Sirte
Fighters are jubilant
Pictures and television broadcasts showed footage of NTC troops celebrating the fall of Sirte and the apparent capture of Gaddafi, who was wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
There were fierce gun battles on the streets of the coastal city in the morning, bringing an end to a siege which has lasted almost two months since the fall of capital Tripoli to rebel troops in August.
“Our forces control the last neighbourhood in Sirte,” NTC member Hassan Draoua said.
“The city has been liberated.”
Shortly afterwards senior National Transitional Council commanders claimed Gaddafi had died from wounds sustained in the final assault.
NATO said it was checking reports of the capture of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and said they could take some time to confirm.
‘’We are checking and assessing the situation.’’ a NATO official said. ‘’Clearly these are very significant developments, which will take time to confirm.“
Gaddafi has been rumoured to be hiding in Sirte for many weeks, although it was also believed he may be in his desert stronghold of Bani Walid, to the south.
A Libyan transitional forces commander said Moussa Ibrahim, former spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi’s fallen government, was captured near the city of Sirte this afternoon.
Abdul Hakim Al Jalil, commander of the 11th brigade, also said he had seen the body of the chief of Gaddafi’s armed forces, Abu Bakr Younus Jabr.
“I’ve seen him with my own eyes.” he said and displayed a picture of Jabr’s body.
“Moussa Ibrahim was also captured and both of them were transferred to our operations room.”
Later Al Jazeera Television broadcast pictures of the body of a man it identified as that of fallen Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s defence minister, Abu Bakr Younus.
The television footage showed a bearded man with a bullet hole just below his neck.
An anti-Gaddafi fighter takes a break during clashes with pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte
Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte
A fighter shoots into the air in celebration
A group of fighters celebrate
Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate in the back of a pick-up
Despite the fall of Tripoli on August 21, Gaddafi loyalists mounted fierce resistance in several areas, including Sirte, preventing Libya’s new leaders from declaring full victory in the eight-month civil war.
Earlier this week, revolutionary fighters gained control of one stronghold, Bani Walid, and by Tuesday said they had squeezed Gaddafi ‘s forces in Sirte into a residential area of about 700 square metres but were still coming under heavy fire from surrounding buildings.
Deputy defence minister Fawzi Abu Katif said on Wednesday that authorities still believe Gaddafi’s son Muatassim is among the ex-regime figures holed up in the diminishing area in Sirte. He was not seen on the ground after the final battle today.
In an illustration of how difficult and slow the fighting for Sirte was, it took the anti-Gaddafi fighters two days to capture a single residential building.
It is unclear whether Gaddafi loyalists who have escaped might continue the fight and attempt to organise an insurgency using the vast amount of weapons Gaddafi was believed to have stored in hideouts in the remote southern desert.
Unlike Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi had no well-organised political party that could form the basis of an insurgent leadership. However, regional and ethnic differences have already appeared among the ranks of the revolutionaries, possibly laying the foundation for civil strife.
Gaddafi issued several audio recordings trying to rally supporters. Libyan officials have previously said they believe he is hiding somewhere in the vast south-western desert near the borders with Niger and Algeria.
Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli
Celebrations in Martyrs Square
Libyans welcome the news
Martyrs Square is packed
Libyans share their joy at the news
- Gaddafi dead: Colonel Gaddafi ‘had shoes thrown at him’ as he lay dying (mirror.co.uk)
- VIDEO: Tripoli celebrates reports Gaddafi is dead (bbc.co.uk)
- Muammar Gaddafi Killed, Captured In Sirte: Conflicting Reports (huffingtonpost.com)
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