BBC Reports: Gaddifi Captured
The BBC is reporting that rebels claim to have captured the ousted leader of Libya.
Via the BBC: Libyan forces ‘capture Gaddafi’
Commanders for Libya’s transitional authorities say they have captured ousted leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.
The reports came after transitional forces claimed control of Sirte, Col Gaddafi’s birthplace, following weeks of fierce fighting.
Col Gaddafi is said to be wounded. There is no independent confirmation of the reports.
May it be so.
More as information emerges.
See also, CNN: Gadhafi captured, says military council on Libyan TV.
The NYT has a report solely on the taking of Surt: Libyan Fighters Say Qaddafi Stronghold Has Fallen.
Update (Doug Mataconis): Reports now seem to agree that Gadhafi is dead.
TRIPOLI, Libya — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan strongman who fled into hiding after rebels toppled his regime two months ago in the Arab Spring’s most violent uprising, was killed Thursday as fighters battling the vestiges of his loyalist forces wrested control of his hometown of Surt, the interim government announced.
Al-Jazeera television showed what it said was Colonel Qaddafi’s corpse as jubilant fighters in Surt fired automatic weapons in the air, punctuating what appeared to be an emphatic and violent ending to his four decades as the self-proclaimed king of kings of Africa.
Libyans rejoiced as news of his death spread. Car horns blared in Tripoli as residents poured into the streets to celebrate.
Mahmoud Shammam, the chief spokesman of the Transitional National Council, the interim government that replaced Colonel Qaddafi’s regime after he fled Tripoli in late August, confirmed that Colonel Qaddafi was killed, though he did not provide other details.
“A new Libya is born today,” he said. “This is the day of real liberation. We were serious about giving him a fair trial. It seems God has some other wish.”
Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the leader of the Tripoli military council, said on Al Jazeera that anti-Qaddafi forces had Colonel Qaddafi’s body.
It was not clear precisely how he died. Some reports, which could not be verified, recounted that Colonel Qaddafi was arrested, wounded by gunshots and died in custody.
Libya’s interim leaders had said they believed that some Qaddafi family members including the colonel himself and some of his sons had been hiding in Surt or in Bani Walid, another loyalist bastion that the anti-Qaddafi forces captured earlier this week.
There was no immediate comment on the news of his death from American officials or from NATO, which conducted a prolonged bombing campaign against Colonel Qaddafi’s military during the uprising that led to his downfall.
And from al-Jazeera English:
Colonel Ahmed Bani, the military spokesman of the National Transition Council, has confirmed to Al Jazeera that Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.
Abdul Hakim Belhaj, an NTC military chief, said Gaddafi had died of his wounds after being captured near his hometown Sirte.
The body of the former Libyan leader was taken to a location which is being kept secret for security reasons, an NTC official said.
“Gaddafi’s body is with our unit in a car and we are taking the body to a secret place for security reasons,” Mohamed Abdel Kafi, an NTC official in the city of Misrata, told Reuters.
Earlier, Abdel Majid, another NTC official, said the toppled leader had been wounded in both legs.
A photograph taken on a mobile phone appeared to show Gaddafi heavily bloodied, but it was not possible to confirm the authenticity of the picture.
The news came shortly after the NTC captured Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown, after weeks of fighting.
“Thank God they have caught this person. In one hour, Sirte was liberated,” a fighter in the town said.
There is a photo out purporting to be a cell phone picture of what appears to be a dead person that at least resembles the former Libyan leader. The unanswered question right now appears to be the manner of death. One report says that Gaddafi was discovered hiding by Libyan rebels and died of injuries sustained in a firefight. Another story is that he was killed when a convoy fleeing Sirte was hit from the air by NATO aircraft. Obviously, the Libyan rebels would prefer if the story turned out to be the he was killed by his own people.