Muammar Gaddafi Killed, Captured In Sirte: Reports (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)
Longtime dictator of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, reportedly has been killed. Following the capture of Muammar Gaddafi´s hometown of Sirte, contradictory reports emerged that Colonel Gaddafi may have been killed or captured in Libya.
Al Jazeera and Libyan state television are reporting that the Libyan dictator has been killed during a gunbattle in Sirte. A senior National Transitional Council official, Abdel Majid, told Reuters by telephone that Gaddafi has died of wounds suffered during his capture in Sirte. Reuters reports that he was wounded in both legs as he "tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked."
The U.S. State Department has not confirmed Colonel Gaddafi´s capture or death. "The State Department cannot at this time confirm media reports on the capture or killing of Muammar Qadhafi,” spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, according to Politico.
The Misrata Military Council, one of multiple command groups for revolutionary forces, says its fighters captured Gadhafi in Sirte. Another commander, Abdel-Basit Haroun, says Gadhafi was killed when an airstrike hit a convoy trying to flee.
In Tripoli, celebrations are already underway with gunfire and honking. "We´ve heard quite a lot of celebratory gunfire," Caroline Hawley reports for the BBC.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Libya on Tuesday to offer a new aid package. She told students during a gathering in Tripoli, "We hope [Gaddafi] can be captured or killed soon so that you don´t have to fear him any longer."
Gaddafi was ousted from power in August, and his whereabouts have been unknown for months. The Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, accused Libya´s former ruler of crimes against humanity.
Reuters is also reporting that an official from the National Transitional Council, Libya´s interim government, has confirmed the death of Abu Bakr Yunis Jabr, Gaddafi´s Minister of Defense.
This is a breaking news update, further information will be added as it becomes available.
Below, follow live updates:
The Associated Press spoke with Abdel-Jalil Abdel-Aziz, a doctor who was part of the medical team that accompanied the body in the ambulance and examined it. He said Gaddafi died from two bullet wounds, to the head and chest.
"You can´t imagine my happiness today. I can´t describe my happiness," he told The Associated Press. "The tyranny is gone. Now the Libyan people can rest."
The fighters who killed Gaddafi are believed to have come from Misrata, a city that suffered a brutal weeks-long siege by Gaddafi´s forces during the eight-month long civil war, The Associated Press says.
Gaddafi was reportedly killed this morning in his hometown Sirte, which lies along the northern coast of Libya. Take a closer look at maps from Sirte and Libya.
The White House press conference on the reported death of Gaddafi has been delayed. President Obama is now expected to speak at 2pm. The White House press secretary will speak at 2:20 pm.
More footage showing Gaddafi right after being captured -- but alive.
Warning: Graphic footage below:
The Associated Press reports bodies were found outside the storm drains where Gaddafi was reportedly found in Sirte. The bodies are thought to be of Gaddafi loyalists.
The White House announced it will hold a press conference on the events in Libya at 12.30 pm.
Reuters makes an attempt to summarize the events of this morning.
One possible description, pieced together from various sources, suggests that Gaddafi may have tried to break out of his final redoubt at dawn in a convoy of vehicles after weeks of dogged resistance. However, he was stopped by a NATO air strike and captured, possibly three or four hours later, after gun battles with NTC fighters who found him hiding in a drainage culvert.
NATO said its warplanes fired on a convoy near Sirte about 8:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. EDT), striking two military vehicles in the group, but could not confirm that Gaddafi had been a passenger.
Accounts from his enemies suggested his capture, and death soon after from wounds, may have taken place around noon.
Read the full story here.
Al Arabiya posted more footage reportedly showing Gaddafi in Sirte.
Warning: Graphic video
There are unconfirmed reports that Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, another of the former Libyan leader´s sons, has been arrested while trying to fly Sirte.
Al Jazeera´s Karl Stagno-Navarro tweeted earlier that Seif Al Islam came under heavy attack by Libyan fighters on his way out of Sirte.
|@ ksnavarra : BREAKING: #Seif al Islam under heavy attack, reached by freedom fighters in #Alhera after he fled #Sirte attack that killed his father
U.N. Secretary General Ban KI-Moon says this days marks a historic transition for Libya. "Now is the time for all Libyans to come together," Ban Ki-Moon also said. "Combattants on all sides must lay downs their arms in peace."
The Associated Press reports Gaddafi´s bloodied body was loaded on top of a vehicle and taken to Misrata, the city that was besieged for months by his forces. A large crowd surrounding the vehicle chanted, "The blood of the martyrs will not go in vain."
Al Jazeera sources claim Gaddafi´s body is being held in a mosque in Misrata.
CBS released a video of Hillary Clinton´s reaction upon hearing the news of Gaddafi´s reported capture. Clinton is currently on a visit to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
HuffPost UK writes Gaddafi´s iconic golden gun has been paraded by freedom fighters following the former leader´s reported death earlier today.
According to reports, a man named Mohammed al-Bibi said that he took the ornate, golden pistol, which Gaddafi had often been photographed holding, after shooting him dead.
Mohammed, who is in his 20s and was filmed by the BBC wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap, said that he found the colonel hiding in a hole in the ground.
There are conflicting reports on the fate of Gaddafi´s son Mutassim, who was reportedly in Sirte before the city fell.
Al Jazeera reported earlier this morning that sources said Mutassim was still alive. Yet Al Arabiya announced senior NTC members thought Mutassim to have been killed by NTC fighters.
HuffPost´s Joshua Hersh writes on the fall of Gaddafi:
Gaddafi´s death suggests that the violent revolution may come to a close without spiraling into all out civil war or an Iraqi-style insurgency, but many issues surrounding Libya´s future remain unsolved.
A few weeks ago, a top NATO commander told reporters that even with the possible fall of Sirte, the NATO mission would not cease until Gaddafi and his last remaining organized holdouts were captured or killed.
"When the ferocious beast is cornered, she will fight until the end," Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, head of the NATO military committee, told Agence France Presse.
Read the full article on HuffPost World.
This is the full cell phone footage video of Muammar Gaddafi´s body that Al Jazeera aired earlier this morning.
Warning: Graphic footage.
Both the French Foreign Ministry and British PM David Cameron commented on Gaddafi´s reported death.
According to Al Arabiya, France said the death of Gaddafi has brought about the end fo a tyranny for Libyans.
Sky News reports David Cameron said "today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi´s victims."
In a joint statement EU President Herman Van Rompuy and EU President José Manuel Barroso said the reported death of Muammar Gaddafi marks the end of an era of despotism and repression.
The full statement:
The reported death of Muammar Gaddafi marks the end of an era of despotism and repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long. Today Libya can turn a page in its history and embrace a new democratic future. We call on the National Transitional Council to pursue a broad based reconciliation process which reaches out to all Libyans and enables a democratic, peaceful and transparent transition in the country.
Libya´s prime minister reportedly confirms Gaddafi has been killed.
|@ AP : BREAKING: US official: Libyan leaders have informed US that Gadhafi is dead -EF
Senator John Mc Cain described the events in Libya as "an end to the first phase of the Libyan revolution." The Associated Press reports the senator also said the U.S. and NATO should continue support for Libya.
Al Jazeera´s James Bay reports from a celebrating Libya. He says many Libyans have downloaded a screen shot of Gaddafi´s body on their mobile phones, someone reportedly turned the photo in a poster.
CNN reports a State Department official commented on Gaddafi´s death that "it looks like he´s been killed," but the department is still waiting for confirmation.
Muammar Gaddafi was allegedly captured in these concrete pipes in Sirte.
Al Arabiya tweets it has been granted permission to film Gaddafi´s dead body.
|@ AlArabiya_Eng : Al Arabiya has ben granted permission to film the dead body of Muammar #Gadhafi. Due to appear shortly on http://t.co/3IgnhOX9
Al Jazeera aired mobile phone footage that reportedly shows Gaddafi dead in Sirte.
Libyan NTC Vice Chariman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga says Gaddafi was killed. The NTC asked reporters to gather for a press conference about an hour ago, yet hasn´t made an official announcement yet.
|@ Reuters : FLASH: Libyan NTC vice chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga confirms Muammar Gaddafi killed