Reports: Former Libyan Leader Gadhafi Dead

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 8:10 am (UTC-5)
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Provisional government officials in Libya say former leader Moammar Gadhafi has died after being wounded as he tried to flee from 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. NTC officials said he was badly wounded.

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

NTC officials have said the capture of Sirte would allow them to declare the country liberated, because it would mean the provisional government controlled all of Libya's ports and harbors.

The coastal town located 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.

Television video has shown cheering NTC fighters in Sirte firing celebratory shots into the air and hoisting the new national flag in the city.