Gadhafi killed in hometown

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 8:11 AM
Last updated 2:58 PM
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SIRTE, Libya — Moammar Gadhafi was killed by Libyans he once scorned as “rats,” succumbing to wounds, some seemingly inflicted after his capture by fighters who overran his last redoubt Thursday in his hometown of Sirte.

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered in his capture near his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, a senior NTC military official said.  File/Reuters
File/Reuters
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered in his capture near his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, a senior NTC military official said.

Two months after Western-backed rebels ended 42 years of eccentric, often bloody, one-man rule by capturing the capital Tripoli, his death and the fall of the final bastion ended a nervous hiatus for the new interim government, which is now set to declare formal “liberation” with a timetable for elections.

The killing or capture of senior aides, including possibly two sons, as an armored convoy braved NATO air strikes in a desperate bid to break out of Sirte, may ease fears of diehards regrouping elsewhere - though cellphone video apparently of Gadhafi alive and being beaten may inflame his sympathizers.

A Libyan official said Gadhafi, 69, was killed in custody.

“We confirm that all the evils, plus Gadhafi, have vanished from this beloved country,” interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said in Tripoli as the body was delivered, a prize of war, to Misrata, the city whose siege and suffering at the hands of Gadhafi’s forces made it a symbol of the rebel cause.

“It’s time to start a new Libya, a united Libya,” Jibril added. “One people, one future.” A formal declaration of liberation, that will set the clock ticking on a timeline to elections, would be made by Friday, he said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who spearheaded a Franco-British move in NATO to back the revolt against Gadhafi hailed a turn of events that few had expected so soon, since there had been little evidence that Gadhafi himself was in Sirte.

But he also alluded to fears that, without the glue of hatred for Gadhafi, the new Libya could descend, like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, into bloody factionalism: “The liberation of Sirte must signal … the start of a process … to establish a democratic system in which all groups in the country have their place and where fundamental freedoms are guaranteed,” he said.

A spokesman for the National Transitional Council in Benghazi, Jalal al-Galal, said a doctor who examined the fallen strongman in Misrata found he had been shot in the head and abdomen. Jerky video shown on Al Jazeera showed a man looking like Gadhafi, with distinctive long, curly hair, blooded and staggering under blows from armed men, apparently NTC fighters.

“They captured him alive and while he was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed,” one senior source in the NTC told Reuters. “He might have been resisting.”

Driven in an ambulance from Sirte, his partially stripped body was delivered to a mosque in Misrata. Senior NTC official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters that DNA tests were being conducted to confirm it was Gadhafi. He would be buried in Misrata, most likely by Friday according to Muslim custom.

Officials said his son Mo’tassim, also seen bleeding but alive in a video, had also died. Another son, heir-apparent Saif al-Islam, was variously reported to be surrounded, captured or killed as conflicting accounts of the day’s events crackled around networks of NTC fighters rejoicing in Sirte.

In Benghazi, where in February Gadhafi disdainfully said he would hunt down the “rats” who had emulated their Tunisian and Egyptian neighbors by rising up against an unloved autocrat, thousands took to the streets, loosing off weapons and dancing under the old tricolor flag revived by Gadhafi’s opponents.

Mansour el Ferjani, 49, a Benghazi bank clerk and father of five posed his 9-year-old son for a photograph holding a Kalashnikov rifle: “Don’t think I will give this gun to my son,” he said. “Now that the war is over we must give up our weapons and the children must go to school.

“But Gadhafi was a terrible dictator and this was the only way to get rid of him. We want everything people have in free countries – want people to live in peace as you do across the Mediterranean where life doesn’t require the machinegun.”

In Sirte, a one-time fishing village and Gadhafi’s home town that Gadhafi’s grandiose schemes had styled a new “capital of Africa” for the “king of kings,” fighters whooped with delight and some brandished a golden pistol they said they had taken from Gadhafi.

Accounts were hazy of his final hours, though there was no shortage of fighters willing to claim they saw Gadhafi, who had long pledged to go down fighting, cringing underground, like Saddam eight years ago, and pleading for his life.

One possible description, pieced together from various sources, suggests Gadhafi 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 French air strike and captured, possibly some 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., striking two military vehicles in the group, but could not confirm that Gadhafi had been a passenger. France later said its jets had been in action at the time.

Libyan television carried video of two drainage pipes, about a meter across, where it said fighters had cornered a man who long inspired both fear and admiration around the world.

After February’s uprising in the long discontented east of the country around Benghazi – inspired by the Arab Spring movements that overthrew the leaders of neighboring Tunisia and Egypt – the revolt against Gadhafi ground slowly across the country before a dramatic turn saw Tripoli fall in August.

An announcement of final liberation was expected as the chairman of the NTC prepared to address the nation of 6 million. They now face the challenge of turning oil wealth once monopolized by Gadhafi and his clan into a democracy that can heal an array of tribal, ethnic and regional divisions he exploited.

The two months since the fall of Tripoli have tested the nerves of the motley alliance of anti-Gadhafi forces and their Western and Arab backers, who had begun to question the ability of the NTC forces to root out diehard Gadhafi loyalists in Sirte and a couple of other towns.

Gadhafi, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of ordering the killing of civilians, was toppled by rebel forces on August 23, a week short of the 42nd anniversary of the military coup which brought him to power in 1969.

Hundreds of NTC troops had surrounded the Mediterranean coastal town of Sirte for weeks in a chaotic struggle that killed and wounded scores of the besieging forces and an unknown number of defenders.

“There is now this massive expectation. Up to now they’ve had an excuse that they are running a war. They don’t have that now ... Everything now has got to happen,” John Hamilton, a Libya expert at Cross Border Information, told Reuters.

“That’s a hard task. They have to deliver for the people … On the other hand, this may renew the honeymoon they enjoyed when Tripoli fell, if they can put a decent government together in a short time.”

Some fear instability might linger and unsettle that process.

“Gadhafi is now a martyr and thus can become the rallying point for irredentist or tribal violence -- perhaps not in the immediate future but in the medium-to-long term,” said George Joffe, a north Africa expert at Cambridge University.

“The fact that NATO can be blamed for his death is worrying, in terms of regional support, and may undermine the legitimacy of the National Transitional Council.”

The death of Gadhafi is a setback to campaigners seeking the full truth about the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland of Pan Am flight 103 which claimed 270 lives, mainly Americans, and for which one of Gadhafi’s agents was convicted.

“There is much still to be resolved and we may now have lost an opportunity for getting nearer the truth,” said Jim Swire, the father of one of the Lockerbie victims.

NATO MISSION IN LIBYA TO END

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Thursday the United States would be a partner to Libya after the death of Moammar Gadhafi and said the NATO mission in the North African country would “soon come to an end.”

“This marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya who now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny in a new and democratic Libya,” he told reporters in the White House Rose Garden.

Obama also said the death of Gadhafi, as reported by Libyan authorities, was significant in the Arab world, where protests have provoked the fall of long-standing dictators. “The rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end,” he said.

– Reuters

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Techfan
6461
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Techfan 10/20/11 - 08:14 am
0
0
Slooooooowwww CPR.

Slooooooowwww CPR.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 10/20/11 - 08:35 am
0
0
Sometimes its better to dance

Sometimes its better to dance with the devil you know. I'm interested to see "what" replaces him.

The Middle East - as usual - is in total chaos. It seems to be at an all time high right now. That obama loved "Arab Spring" thing has a bad undercurrent.

roundaboutway
0
Points
roundaboutway 10/20/11 - 08:37 am
0
0
Sha na na na... Sha na na

Sha na na na... Sha na na na... Hey Hey Hey.... Goodbye...

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 10/20/11 - 09:04 am
0
0
He looks like the guy on the

He looks like the guy on the poison control hotline sticker in that picture.

Edward1968
578
Points
Edward1968 10/20/11 - 09:48 am
0
0
He looks like Little Richard

He looks like Little Richard on the Zaxbys commercial.

JakeQ
61
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JakeQ 10/20/11 - 10:12 am
0
0
Wow, hope the Libyan people

Wow, hope the Libyan people are able to put this behind them and come up with a better government!

IsAnyoneAlwaysRight
40
Points
IsAnyoneAlwaysRight 10/20/11 - 10:25 am
0
0
Forget Gitmo, heck this type

Forget Gitmo, heck this type of justice is even better; shoot a man when he says, "don't shoot, don't shoot".

To be honest, either way is fine with me; the Gitmo thing is just about Politiks.....

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/20/11 - 10:45 am
0
0
"...Gaddafi had been found

"...Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said "Don't shoot, don't shoot" to the men who grabbed him."

I wonder how many innocent people begged for their lives under his regime?

bentman
455
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bentman 10/20/11 - 11:01 am
0
0
Obama's list of comrades is

Obama's list of comrades is getting shorter by the day.

ispy4u
0
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ispy4u 10/20/11 - 11:54 am
0
0
They were Bush comrades

They were Bush comrades before becoming his.

burninater
9605
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burninater 10/20/11 - 12:57 pm
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0
Indeed bentman, and Obama

Indeed bentman, and Obama even approved military action against his regime. It's almost though he was never one of his comrades to begin with, isn't it? Oh wait, that would imply someone getting paid to tell you lies wasn't telling the truth again. Of course, that type of propaganda is useless unless the willing ears are attached to a head in the sand ...

Formerly Shivas
0
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Formerly Shivas 10/20/11 - 03:27 pm
0
0
Another feather is the strong

Another feather is the strong Obama foreign policy cap. But just listen to the rationalizations of why Obama gets no credit. It's funny, just last month he was being criticized by the right for his Lybia strategy, and now today, he has had nothing to do with Lybia. "Where's the birth certificate?" What a joke.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/20/11 - 03:50 pm
0
0
Formerly Shivas - If you

Formerly Shivas - If you haven't seen it, President Obama's campaign is cashing in on the "birthers'" denial by sending mugs with the President's picture and a copy of his birth certificate on them for a small campaign contribution. When they throw eggs at you, make a souffle'.

Yes, I remember when Bush entangled us in two wars that we are even now struggling to disentangle ourselves from it was a good thing. When Obama provided arial support for a UN led mission to aid the Libyan rebels it was outrageous.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 10/20/11 - 04:10 pm
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cassandra harris says "Yes, I

cassandra harris says "Yes, I remember when Bush entangled us in two wars that we are even now struggling to disentangle ourselves....."

How is a surge in troops a "struggle to disentangle ourselves"?

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/20/11 - 04:36 pm
0
0
Don't play naive chillen -

Don't play naive chillen - were we not in two wars that were so badly run in the first place we would not still be there 10 years and thousands upon thousands of lost lives later. Had the war been run like his father ran the first gulf war (where we were asked to intervene by leaders of the other nations in the area) we would not have lost the support of many of our allies in that area, would not have been a recruiting rally point for both the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and it would not have been necessary to surge troops to stabilize the two countries we are trying to exit.

Formerly Shivas
0
Points
Formerly Shivas 10/20/11 - 04:36 pm
0
0
Mubarek- gone Osama- Swims

Mubarek- gone
Osama- Swims with da fishes
Ghadaffi- Swiss Cheese

Thank you President Obama!

KSL
129967
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KSL 10/20/11 - 04:45 pm
0
0
“The rule of an iron fist

“The rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end,” Obama said. How hypocritical. That's exactly the way he would like to rule the US, short of out and out murder.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/20/11 - 05:11 pm
0
0
I know that the people of

I know that the people of Lockerbie and the families of the victims of Pan Am flight 103 are rejoicing. It's all over the European Press. I'm sure they are happy for the support given the Rebels early on. I'm against taking of lives, but if you have to support a foreign conflict, Obama did it right. No ground troupes, no occupation, no high loss of US lives. Now if he can just bring our boys back from the other two countries we are caught up in.

Brad Owens
4449
Points
Brad Owens 10/20/11 - 07:07 pm
0
0
Chillen, Had you been down on

Chillen,

Had you been down on Hero's Square tonight you would not even joek about keeping that thug in power.

he was a bloody thug, and the world is a better place without him in it. Period.

And I can tell you another thing, this reichwing non-sense about the Islamist taking over is a bunch of horse dung.

The Libyan people have tasted freedom, and no one will ever put a yoke on their necks again.

It felt so amazing to be in a crowd of Arab Muslims and to have them all greet me with wonderful smiles, and after finding out I was American, they all thanked me (as if I, being the only American in the crowd of thousands, had anything to do with Obama's choice to get involved).

This one Obama got right, like I have said form the begining of the NATO bombing, we should have done more.

Freedom is a heck of a thing, and tonight I could feel the collective relief and genuine joy the people in Libya felt and were expressing at his death. It was amazing and anyone who thinks getting rid of him will be a bad thing is just wrong.

I know you all want to never give Obama a crumb, but this one he hit dead solid perfect.

Brad
Tripoli, Libya

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/20/11 - 08:08 pm
0
0
Well said Brad. I was in

Well said Brad. I was in Germany when the wall fell and I remember the overwhelming joy at throwing off the oppressive rule. I know that the celebrations the Germans had pale in comparison to the relief the Libyans feel at ridding themselves of the barbaric likes of Gadhafi and sons. I find people of Middle Eastern culture to be a very warm, gracious and wonderful people. It's so sickening that in a land whose constitution guarantees freedom of religion that so many Americans feel the need to demonize the entire religion and culture for the sadistic acts of minority.

Sargebaby
4693
Points
Sargebaby 10/20/11 - 08:41 pm
0
0
Actually, it was NATO who

Actually, it was NATO who attacked with drones, and Al-Qaeda rebels that killed him. It will be interesting to see how this will play out. Looks to me, like the situation jumped from the frying pan to the fire!

eagle
94
Points
eagle 10/20/11 - 09:26 pm
0
0
Another one bites the
Unpublished

Another one bites the dust...woo hoo!!!

shrimp for breakfast
5456
Points
shrimp for breakfast 10/20/11 - 11:20 pm
0
0
Live by the Gun, Die by the

Live by the Gun, Die by the Gun.

freeradical
1077
Points
freeradical 10/21/11 - 06:10 am
0
0
The Lockerbie bomber, and

The Lockerbie bomber, and murderer of over 100 americans is still

a hero among what in your naivete you call "freedom" loving people.

This murderer of americans homecoming had almost as many people in

the streets celebrating as did 9/11.

Your incredibly short memories may recall.

He was welcomed there as a national hero just a few months ago.

American ignorance not in short supply here.

Chief among his cheerleaders was Gaddaffi himself.

Your and Obama's naivete of how these people operate is a deadly

miscalculation.

Don't hold your breath waiting for these "freedom" lovers to give up the

mass murderer of over 100 americans , and Gaddaffi's #1 national

hero.

With such childlike lack of understanding and guilelessness on full

display from the top down the killers and haters that cheered the

libyian homecoming of Al-Megrahi as a national hero are surely

salivating the next slapdown to issued to a gulible America.

Hell, Al-Meghrai may be so impressed by our gulible naivete he

may decide to get back in on the mass american killings one more

time himself.

This if he does not first die from his "terminal" cancer ( wink,

wink ) that both

our president and the secretery of state bite off on and refused

to call a lie.

Maybe the gulible americans on display can have a cancer fundraiser

to help Al-Megrahi with his medical expenses?

How about a hot dog sale!

Don't forget to pretend a few months from now that the tons & tons

of weapons such as the type to take down jetliners can still not be

accounted for are any issue at all.

Which is really not an issue anyway since the ability

of all parties to pretend at this point seems to know no limit.

IsAnyoneAlwaysRight
40
Points
IsAnyoneAlwaysRight 10/21/11 - 11:41 am
0
0
Darn, and I thought Obama was

Darn, and I thought Obama was just a "lady killer" during the prior elections.

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