Gaddafi Death: Burial Delayed Amid 'Dispute Over Where To Put The Body'
The burial of Colonel Gaddafi appears to have been delayed amid reports of a dispute within the National Transitional Council over what to do with the body.
Reuters reported that the former Libyan dictator, who was killed following his capture on Thursday, would be given a full Muslim burial within 24 hours, but the site had not yet been agreed upon.
The BBC said that authorities may attempt a secret burial, and that there was some speculation about a burial at sea, similar that given to al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Despite the Muslim tradition of a quick burial, Ali Tarhoun, the NTC's oil minister, said he had asked for the body to be held for a few days.
"I told them to keep it in the freezer for a few days... to make sure that everybody knows he is dead," he said.
However a senior official told the news agency there was a division in the interim government over where Gaddafi's resting place should be.
"Under Islam he should have been buried quickly but they have to reach an agreement whether he is to be buried in Misrata, Sirte, or somewhere else," the senior official, speaking anonymously, said.
According to another official, cited by the Associated Press, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has to examine the death of the despot before he can be buried.
The agency quoted Mohamed Sayeh, a senior member of the NTC, as saying a "third party will come from outside of Libya to go through the paperwork."
Gaddafi, was captured alive by NTC troops following a Nato air strike on a convoy outside his hometown of Sirte on Thursday. Video footage showed him bloodied, dragged through the streets, pushed and pulled by his jubilant captors.
"Don't shoot, don't shoot," he pleaded. Dazed, wounded and wiping blood from his face the 69-year-old questioned his captors: "What did I ever do to you?"
Soon after, he was dead.
According to Libyan prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, Gaddafi was shot in crossfire between NTC fighters and pro-Gaddafi forces.
No-one else was injured in the crossfire fuelling speculation that Gaddafi either died from wounds sustained during his capture, or that he had been summarily executed in the street.
Gaddafi’s son Mutasssim was also killed, according to the Libyan information minister. A video has appeared on YouTube purportedly showing his dead body.
According to Reuters, Moussa Ibrahim, a high-ranking spokesman for the former regime, was captured and Yunus Jaber, head of Gaddafi’s armed forces was found dead.
The whereabouts of Gaddafi’s other son, Saif al-Islam, widely tipped to take over his father’s regime before it fell in August, remains unknown, though reports suggest that he is still at large in Libya’s desert. He may have been shot and injured.
Following Gaddafi’s death, Nato is considering a quick end to the air strikes that did so much to end the dictator’s 42-year iron rule to an end.
Overnight, thousand of Libyans took to the streets in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi in celebration at the end of the dictator. Libyan communities around the world joined in the celebrations, including ex-pats in London and Manchester.