News organizations are reporting that former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been killed in the city of Sirte. For the last few weeks Sirte was one of the last pro-Gaddafi strongholds left in the country after NTC forces took the capital in August.
Initial dispatches claimed the dictator had been captured when the city fell to anti-Gaddafi fighters earlier today. However, within the last few minutes reports are claiming the former leader was either killed during fighting or died after being captured by NTC forces.
There are currently very few details about the former leader’s death. I will update this post throughout the day as new information is confirmed.
Update 9:02am EST: Al Jazeera Arabic is reporting that the head of Gaddafi’s armed forces, Abu Bakr Younis Jabr, is also been killed.
Update 8:46am EST: National Transitional Council’s military chief just announced on Al Jazeera Arabic that Gaddafi is dead.
Update 8:42am EST: Al Jazeera is claiming that Gaddafi’s body is currently being taken to a secret location.
Update 9:34 EST: This photo, purportedly of a bloodied and lifeless Gaddafi, is making the rounds.
Update: 9:39 EST: That was quick. Al Jazeera posts a video obituary of Gaddafi.
Update 10:27: In a video reminiscint of the Saddam Hussein execution, Al Jazeera just posted this video of Libyan soldiers abusing the corpse of Muammar Gaddafi. The video is grainy, but graphic. I imagine this video will cause some serious debate and discussion throughout Libya and the world in the coming days.
Update 11:11: Hastily scribbled notes from Ban Ki Moon’s statement:
Clearly this day marks a historic transition for Libya. In the coming days we will witness scenes of celebration and grief of those who lost so much. Let us recognize that this is only the end of the beginning. The road ahead for lobya will be difficult and full of challenges. Libyans can only recingize the future through reconciliation. Combatants on all sides must lay down their arms in peace. This is a time for heling, not revenge. Inclusion and pluralism must be the watchwords. the high hopes sustained throughout the long days must translate into opportunties and justice for all.
Update 2:04 EST Reuters has posted a detailed account of Gaddafi’s capture and death.