NEWS

Colonel Gaddafi Dead: NTC Say Former Dictator Killed In Gun Battle

20/10/2011 12:41 | Updated 20 December 2011

Former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi has been killed, authorities there have confirmed.

Following the news Nato announced that it would be holding an emergency meeting on Thursday to decide whether it was time to end its mission in Libya.

Gaddafi reportedly attempted to break out of the under-siege town of Sirte on Thursday morning, accompanied by a few dozen bodyguards.

His convoy was intercepted by Nato, who confirmed its aircraft had been involved in strikes on military vehicles outside the town at the reported time.

Gaddafi allegedly escaped death after these attacks and ran from the wreckage towards two drainage pipes, where he and his remaining guards attempted to hide from the NTC fighters.

The former leader was discovered soon afterwards, at which point he was already wounded with gunshots to his back and legs, Reuters said.

Libya's interim prime minister said that Gaddafi was alive when his captors put him in a car to evacuate him, as shown by graphic footage caught on mobile phones and broadcast on television stations around the world.

Soon afterwards Gaddafi was reportedly shot in the head and killed in further crossfire, said the Libyan prime minister Mahmoud Jibril on Thursday evening, citing forensic evidence.

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The exact details of Gaddafi's death were still subject to some confusion, however, even as graphic pictures and video of his body were broadcast online.

Abu Bakr Yunis, the former Libyan defence minister, was also killed in the attack according to the NTC. It has also been reported by Reuters that Mutassim Gaddafi, the leader's son who was reported to be in Sirte, was killed, and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was wounded and is reportedly in hospital. The exact details as to his condition remain unknown.

Around Libya NTC fighters and civilians have celebrated the news. In Sirte fighters were seen shooting their guns in jubiliation, and there were similar scenes in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

[LIBYA CELEBRATES: IN PICTURES]

Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement outside No. 10 Downing Street that Gaddafi's death should help move Libya on to a brighter, democratic future. He also said that he was "proud" of the role that Britain's military had played in Gaddafi's downfall.

"Many, many Libyans died at the hands of this dictator and his global regime," Cameron said. "Today is a day to remember for all of Gaddafi's victims."

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe also welcomed Gaddafi's death, hailing the "end of 42 years of tyranny".

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Labour leader Ed Miliband and several MPs were also among those who reacted to the death.

Video also emerged of the moment that US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton learned of the news via a message on a mobile phone while giving interviews in Afghanistan.

Following his death, Gaddafi's iconic golden gun was paraded by freedom fighters.

An NTC spokesman claims that the tyrant's body has arrived in Misrata, 60 miles from Sirte.

Reacting to the news, family members of those who died in the 1988 bombing of the Pan-Am 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland said that "the long trail to justice is coming to an end".

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya with an iron fist, had been in hiding since August following the collapse of his regime. His whereabouts were unknown, however rumours suggested that he had fled to Sirte.

Earlier conflicting reports said that Gaddafi had been "captured", not killed. Libyan TV had quoted an NTC official who said that the tyrant had been arrested following the fall of his hometown of Sirte.

10/20/2011 4:14 PM EDT

Gaddafi's Death: Update

More details are emerging about the course of events on Thursday which led to the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi reportedly attempted to break out of the under-siege town of Sirte on Thursday morning, accompanied by a few dozen bodyguards.

His convoy was intercepted by Nato, who confirmed its aircraft had been involved in strikes on military vehicles outside the town at the reported time.

Gaddafi allegedly escaped death after these attacks and ran from the wreckage towards two drainage pipes, where he and his remaining guards attempted to hide from the NTC fighters.

The former leader was discovered soon afterwards, at which point he was already wounded with gunshots to his back and legs, Reuters said.

Libya's interim prime minister said that Gaddafi was alive when his captors put him in a car to evacuate him, as shown by graphic footage caught on mobile phones and broadcast on television stations around the world.

Soon afterwards Gaddafi was reportedly shot and killed in further crossfire, said the Libyan prime minister Mahmoud Jibril on Thursday evening, citing forensic evidence.

10/20/2011 2:45 PM EDT

Foreign Secretary William Hague

@ WilliamJHague :

Qadhafi made #Libya a byword for violence & stifled freedom. Now Libyans will be known for courage & persistence in gaining their freedom

10/20/2011 2:44 PM EDT

Statement by the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

"After 42 years, Colonel Qadhafi's rule of fear has finally come to an end. Libya can draw a line under a long dark chapter in its history and turn over a new page. Now the people of Libya can truly decide their own future.

I call on all Libyans to put aside their differences and work together to build a brighter future.

I urge the National Transitional Council to prevent any reprisals against civilians and to show restraint in dealing with defeated pro-Qadhafi forces.

NATO and our partners have successfully implemented the historic mandate of the United Nations to protect the people of Libya. We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council. With the reported fall of Bani Walid and Sirte, that moment has now moved much closer."

10/20/2011 2:41 PM EDT

Jay Carney, White House Spokesperson Gives Briefing On Gaddafi's Death

The White House spokesperson Jay Carney has told the press corp there that the president views this as "a victory for the Libyan people".

The Libyans are in "a far better place now because of what they achieved with our assistance", he said.

10/20/2011 2:24 PM EDT

Graphic content: Gaddafi video

Al Jazeera have also broadcast this video of Gaddafi following his capture.

10/20/2011 2:12 PM EDT

President Obama reacts to Gaddafi's death

US President Obama has said it is a "momentous day" in Libya's history.

"This marks the end of a long and painful chapter," he said.

Speaking in the White House rose garden he said the Libyan people "now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny in a new and democratic Libya".

"Today we can definitively say that the Gaddafi regime has come to an end.

"The new government is consolidating its control over the country and one of the world's longest serving dictators is no more.

"One year ago the notion of a free Libya seemed impossible, but then the Libyan people rose up and demanded their rights."

He added: "This is a momentous day in the history of Libya, the dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted."

"Across the Arab world, citizen have stood up to claim their rights, youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictatorship."

10/20/2011 1:32 PM EDT

French defence statement

AP is reporting that the French defence chief says it was a French jet that fired on a convoy carrying Colonel Gaddafi near Sirte this morning.

10/20/2011 1:06 PM EDT

Graphic content: Video footage of Colonel Gaddafi following his capture

10/20/2011 12:55 PM EDT

William Hauge says Britain 'will not mourn' Gaddafi

British foreign secretary William Hague: “We do not approve of extra-judicial killings but we are not going to mourn him.”

Asked on Sky News whether he beleives the death of Gaddafi will take some of his secrets to the grave he said: "I'm still hopeful that questions will be answered."

10/20/2011 12:06 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton learns of news via blackberry (video)

Video has emerged of the moment that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton learned of the death of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi via a message on her mobile phone.

Clinton was undergoing a series of interviews in Kabul, Afghanistan, when an aide handed her a phone with the unconfirmed news of Gaddafi's capture.

"Wow," Clinton said on learning the news. "Unconfirmed."

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