Former Libyan Leader Gadhafi Killed

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 11:55 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is dead.

Libyan provisional government forces killed Gadhafi Thursday in a final assault on his coastal hometown of Sirte, seven months after launching an uprising against his four-decade autocratic rule.

The prime minister of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mahmoud Jibril, confirmed Gadhafi's death at a news conference in Tripoli. Gadhafi was 69 years old. The United States says it received confirmation of the former leader's death from Libyan officials.

Video footage broadcast on global television networks showed Gadhafi's bloodied corpse lying on the ground, surrounded by NTC forces who later took the body to the western city of Misrata.

The circumstances of Gadhafi's killing were not clear. NTC fighters said Gadhafi was found hiding under ground and was shot and killed as they crushed remaining resistance by his loyalists in Sirte. NATO said its warplanes also attacked two vehicles of pro-Gadhafi forces that were maneuvering around Sirte on Thursday.

Reports from Sirte said NTC fighters also captured one of Gadhafi's sons, Mutassim. But there were conflicting reports about whether he was alive or dead. The location of another Gadhafi son, Saif al-Islam, was not clear. Libyan officials believe he is on the run in the vast Libyan desert.

NTC fighters celebrated the fall of Sirte by firing shots into the air and hoisting Libya's new national flag over what was the last stronghold of Gadhafi loyalists. Provisional government forces had besieged Sirte for weeks, but met with fierce resistance from the loyalists, who were heavily-armed.

NTC officials have said they will declare the country completely liberated from Gadhafi's rule after Sirte is fully under their control.