Deposed Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi Dead
Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has died of wounds suffered during reported capture, a senior National Transitional Council military official says. Gaddafi .was captured near his hometown of Sirte at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked, National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid said on Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
Here is more from the Associated Press, which has not confirmed the reports:
Libyan fighters drove the last holdouts of Moammar Gadhafi out of his hometown of Sirte in fierce gunbattles Thursday, then declared victory over the last major resistance two months after the fall of Tripoli. Fighters reported to have captured the ousted leader, but Libyan officials and NATO said they could not immediately confirm.
The Misrata Military Council, one of multiple command groups for revolutionary forces, said its fighters captured Gadhafi. Another commander, Abdel-Basit Haroun, says Gadhafi was killed when an airstrike hit a convoy trying to flee.
The spokesman for Libya’s transitional government, Jalal al-Gallal, and its military spokesman Abdul-Rahman Busin said the reports have not been confirmed.
Col. Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO’s operational headquarters in Naples, Italy, said the alliance’s aircraft Thursday morning struck two vehicles of pro-Gadhafi forces "which were part of a larger group maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte."
But NATO officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance to alliance rules, said the alliance also could not independently confirm whether Gadhafi was killed or captured.
The ecstatic former rebels celebrated the fall of Sirte after weeks of bloody siege by firing endless rounds into the sky, pumping their guns, knives and even a meat cleaver in the air and singing the national anthem.
In the central quarter where Thursday’s final battle took place, the fighters looking like the same ragtag force that started the uprising eight months ago jumped up and down with joy and flashed V-for-victory signs. Some burned the green Gadhafi flag, then stepped on it with their boots.
They chanted "Allah akbar," or "God is great" in Arabic, while one fighter climbed a traffic light pole to unfurl the revolution’s flag, which he first kissed. Discarded military uniforms of Gadhafi’s fighters littered the streets. One revolutionary fighter waved a silver trophy in the air while another held up a box of firecrackers, then set them off.