‘Former Libyan Leader Gadhafi Dead’ – Provisional Government

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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Provisional government officials in Libya say former leader Moammar Gadhafi has died after being wounded during a battle for control of the town of Sirte. The reports have not been independently confirmed.

Earlier Thursday, military leaders in the National Transitional Council said Mr. Gadhafi had been taken into custody, and that he was badly wounded.

NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil is expected to address the nation soon.

Revolutionary fighters made a final push into Sirte Thursday after spending weeks battling well-armed Gadhafi loyalists.

NTC officials have said they can declare the country liebrated after Sirte is fully under their control. The provisional government would then command all of Libya's ports and harbors.

Sirte, a coastal town 360 kilometers east of Tripoli, was the last significant stronghold for Gadhafi loyalists after provisional fighters gained control of the desert town of Bani Walid earlier this week.

NTC fighters in Sirte fired celebratory shots into the air and hoisted the new national flag in the city Thursday.

U.S. and NATO officials say they are trying to confirm reports of Mr. Gadhafi's death.