Former Libyan Leader Gadhafi Killed in Hometown

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 1:35 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been killed in an assault by provisional government forces on his coastal hometown of Sirte.

The prime minister of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mahmoud Jibril, confirmed Gadhafi's death on Thursday at a news conference in Tripoli. He also said it is time for Libyans to build a new, united Libya, now that Gadhafi is dead.

The United States says it received confirmation of the former leader's death from Libyan officials. Gadhafi was 69 years old.

Footage broadcast on global television networks showed a wounded and bleeding Gadhafi being carried by NTC forces who found him hiding in a sewage pipe on the outskirts of Sirte. Libyan officials said Gadhafi died of gunshot wounds shortly after NTC forces captured him, but it was not clear when he was shot or by whom.

NATO said its aircraft attacked two vehicles of pro-Gadhafi forces that were maneuvering around Sirte on Thursday. NTC fighters said Gadhafi and a group of loyalists tried to flee Sirte in the convoy that was attacked.

Jubilant crowds filled the streets of Tripoli to celebrate Gadhafi's demise. NTC fighters also 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.

Jibril said the NTC will formally announce that Libya has been completely liberated from Gadhafi's rule by Friday.

Provisional government forces had besieged Sirte for weeks, but met with fierce resistance from the loyalists, who were heavily-armed.

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.

Jibril said NTC fighters were pursuing another Gadhafi son, Saif al-Islam, in a village near Sirte.

Anti-Gadhafi forces began an uprising in February against his four-decade autocratic rule. Gadhafi was ousted from power in August, and fled the capital.