published Thursday, October 20th, 2011

U.S. official: Libyan leaders have informed United States that Gadhafi is dead

In this Saturday, June 12, 2010 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi talks during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the evacuation of the American military bases in the country, in Tripoli, Libya. The Associated Press is aware of reports that Moammar Gadhafi has been captured in Sirte. The chief spokesman for the revolutionary National Transitional Council Jalal el-Gallal and the council military spokesman Abdul-Rahman Busin told the AP that those reports are unconfirmed. (AP Photo/ Abdel Magid Al Fergany, File)
In this Saturday, June 12, 2010 file photo, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi talks during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the evacuation of the American military bases in the country, in Tripoli, Libya. The Associated Press is aware of reports that Moammar Gadhafi has been captured in Sirte. The chief spokesman for the revolutionary National Transitional Council Jalal el-Gallal and the council military spokesman Abdul-Rahman Busin told the AP that those reports are unconfirmed. (AP Photo/ Abdel Magid Al Fergany, File)

SIRTE, Libya — SIRTE, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled Libya with a dictatorial grip for 42 years until he was ousted by his own people in an uprising that turned into a bloody civil war, was killed Thursday by revolutionary fighters overwhelming his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.

The 69-year-old Gadhafi is the first leader to be killed in the Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings that swept the Middle East, demanding the end of autocratic rulers and the establishment of greater democracy.

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Moammar Gadhafi has been killed," Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference in the capital Tripoli. Interim government officials said one of Gadhafi's sons, Muatassim, was also killed in Sirte and that another, Seif al-Islam, was captured wounded with a gunshot to the leg.

Footage aired on Al-Jazeera television showed Gadhafi was captured wounded but alive in Sirte. The goateed, balding Gadhafi is seen in a bloodsoaked shirt, and his face is bloodied. Standing upright, he is shoved along by a crowd of fighters on a Sirte roadside, chanting "God is great."

Gadhafi appears to struggle against them, stumbling and shouting as the fighters push him onto the hood of a pickup truck. "We want him alive. We want him alive," one man shouts before Gadhahi is dragged away, some fighters pulling his hair, toward an ambulance.

Later footage showed fighters rolling Gadhafi's lifeless body over on the pavement, stripped to the waist and a pool of blood under his head.

His death decisively ends a regime that had turned Libya into an international pariah and ran the oil-rich nation by the whims and brutality of its notoriously eccentric leader. Libya now enters a new era, but its turmoil may not be over. The former rebels who now rule are disorganized and face rebuilding a country stripped of institutions. They have already shown signs of infighting, with divisions between geographical areas and Islamist and more secular ideologies.

A picture began to emerge of Gadhafi's last hours, though accounts still held contradictions.

Most accounts agreed Gadhafi had been holed up with heavily armed supporters in the last few buildings held by regime loyalists in his Mediterranean coastal hometown of Sirte, furiously battling advancing revolutionary fighters.

At one point, a convoy tried to flee and was hit by NATO airstrikes, carried out by French warplanes. France's Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said the 80-vehicle convoy was carrying Gadhafi and was trying to escape the city. The strikes stopped the convoy but did not destroy it, and then revolutionary fighters moved in on the vehicle carrying Gadhafi himself.

Fathi Bashaga, spokesman for the Misrata military council, whose forces were involved in the Sirte siege, said fighters encircled the convoy and exchanged fire with several of the vehicles. In one, they found Gadhafi, wounded in the neck, and took him to an ambulance. "What do you want?" Gadhafi said to the approaching revolutionaries, Bashaga said, citing witnesses.

Gadhafi bled to death from his wounds a half-hour later, he said.

Abdel-Jalil Abdel-Aziz, a doctor who was part of the medical team that accompanied the body in the ambulance and examined it, said Gadhafi died from two bullet wounds, to the head and chest.

"You can't imagine my happiness today. I can't describe my happiness," he told The Associated Press. "The tyranny is gone. Now the Libyan people can rest."

Gadhafi's body was then paraded through the streets of the nearby city of Misrata on top of a vehicle surrounded by a large crowd chanting, "The blood of the martyrs will not go in vain," according to footage aired on Al-Arabiya television. The fighters who killed Gadhafi are believed to have come from Misrata, a city that suffered a brutal weeks-long siege by Gadhafi's forces during the eight-month long civil war.

Celebratory gunfire and cries of "God is Great" rang out across the capital Tripoli. Cars honked their horns and people hugged each other. In Sirte, the ecstatic former rebels celebrated the city's fall after weeks of bloody siege by firing endless rounds into the sky, pumping their guns, knives and even a meat cleaver in the air and singing the national anthem.

Libya's new leaders had said they would declare the country's "liberation" after the fall of Sirte.

The death of Gadhafi — and the death and capture of his two most powerful sons — adds greater solidity to that declaration.

It rules out a scenario that some had feared — that he might flee deeper into Libya's southern deserts and lead a resistance campaign against Libya's rulers. Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam told AP that Muatassim Gadhafi, his father's former national security adviser, was killed in Sirte. The justice miniister said Gadhafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, had been wounded in the leg and was being held in a hospital in the city of Zlitan, northwest of Sirte.

Sirte's fall caps weeks of heavy, street-by-street battles as revolutionary fighters besieged the city. Despite the fall of Tripoli on Aug. 21, Gadhafi loyalists mounted fierce resistance in several areas, including Sirte, preventing Libya's new leaders from declaring full victory in the eight-month civil war. Earlier this week, revolutionary fighters gained control of one stronghold, Bani Walid.

By Tuesday, fighters said they had squeezed Gadhafi's forces in Sirte into a residential area of about 700 square yards but were still coming under heavy fire from surrounding buildings.

In an illustration of how heavy the fighting has been, it took the anti-Gadhafi fighters two days to capture a single residential building.

Reporters watched as the final assault began around 8 a.m. Thursday and ended about 90 minutes later. Just before the battle, about five carloads of Gadhafi loyalists tried to flee the enclave down the coastal highway that leads out of the city. But they were met by gunfire from the revolutionaries, who killed at least 20 of them.

Col. Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO's operational headquarters in Naples, Italy, said the alliance's aircraft Thursday morning struck two vehicles of pro-Gadhafi forces "which were part of a larger group maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte."

The Misrata Military Council, one of the command groups, said its fighters captured Gadhafi.

One fighter who said he was at the battle told AP Television News that the final fight took place at an opulent compound for visiting dignitaries built by Gadhafi's regime. Adel Busamir said the convoy tried to break out but after being hit it turned back and re-entered the compound. Several hundred fighters assaulted.

"We found him there," Busamir said. "We saw them beating him (Gadhafi) and someone shot him with a 9mm pistol ... then they took him away."

Military spokesman Col. Ahmed Bani in Tripoli told Al-Jazeera TV that a wounded Gadhafi "tried to resist (revolutionary forces) so they took him down."

"I reassure everyone that this story has ended and this book has closed," he said.

After the battle, revolutionaries began searching homes and buildings looking for any hiding Gadhafi fighters. At least 16 were captured, along with cases of ammunition and trucks loaded with weapons. Reporters saw revolutionaries beating captured Gadhafi men in the back of trucks and officers intervening to stop them.

In the central quarter where Thursday's final battle took place, the fighters looking like the same ragtag force that started the uprising eight months ago jumped up and down with joy and flashed V-for-victory signs. Some burned the green Gadhafi flag, then stepped on it with their boots.

They chanted "God is great" while one fighter climbed a traffic light pole to unfurl the revolution's flag, which he first kissed. Discarded military uniforms of Gadhafi's fighters littered the streets. One revolutionary fighter waved a silver trophy in the air while another held up a box of firecrackers, then set them off.

"Our forces control the last neighborhood in Sirte," Hassan Draoua, a member of Libya's interim National Transitional Council, told The Associated Press in Tripoli. "The city has been liberated."

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twharr said...

Another victory for Obama...cha-ching!

October 20, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.
kfratz said...

For OBAMA? What a joke!

October 20, 2011 at 12:47 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

I wonder who will end up claiming responsibility for his death. I believe other sources are reporting that it was a Libyan resistance squad.

October 20, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

You really think so, twharr? The appearance of America's first black president having a hand in assinations around the world not only look bad for the president but also for the people he most resemble who've been overwhelming oppressed, hunted and brutalized throughout American history. If the world turns on America's first black president they will also turn on the people who most resemble him. One can imagine a possible future holocaust on the horizon. Wonder who's going to speak up when their time comes around again? Nada? None? No one?

October 20, 2011 at 12:56 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

The concern is history will likely not shine graciously and humanely on America's first black president. Future generations won't understand that the man presidently in charge is not actually in charge, never was, and is more of a figurehead than a leader.

October 20, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
dao1980 said...

T.R. was in charge, he told a corrupt congress to jump in the creek, and proceeded to take care of business.

We need someone who has the walnuts to do the same today.

Which really doesn't have much to do with this story.... just my initial thought on your "in charge" statement anmesti.

October 20, 2011 at 1:26 p.m.
kfratz said...

Amnesti, the last I looked at Obama's dubious pedigree, he was biracial.......he seems to forget that.

October 20, 2011 at 2:33 p.m.
twharr said...

@kratz, yeah he and our Nato allies assisted with the over throwing of a murdering dictator. The right-wing would have done nothing, but debated and threatened impeachment while allowing innocent people to get massacred.

@ Amesti, I agree, Obama has been ruthless in destroying people who want nothing but our destruction. Kudos to him. He has balls of steel and I applaud him for it. All you nay-sayers who predicted he was weak and too liberal what do you say now??

So again I say...CHA-CHING!! The next CHA-CHING will be Uganda, Syria and God willing Iran. Then I’m going to cash in all my CHA-CHINGS when he’s re-elected.

October 20, 2011 at 3:43 p.m.
WHS1970 said...

If Dubya was still in office, most of you would be giving him all the credit for the downfall of Gadhafi. Whether he had a hand in it or not. You cant have it both ways.

October 20, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.
Momus said...

WOW! Obama takes out OBL, al Awlaki and Gadhafi with no American casualties. NO AMERICAN CASUALTIES!

Cha-Ching!

October 20, 2011 at 7:18 p.m.
headcoconut said...

kfratz said... Amnesti, the last I looked at Obama's dubious pedigree, he was biracial.......he seems to forget that.

Not speaking for amnesti, but I don't think it's Obama who has forgotten he's the product of a white mother and black or African father. It's the America he grew up in that readily saw him as a black man or African-American. It doesn't matter what race your parents are in America, but which race you most closely resemble. For sure, growing up, and encountering people and situations such encountering 1. law enforcement 2. service industry, 3, jobs those people didn't take time to ask if he was a prodcut of a white mother and black father. They immediately simply saw him as a black male, because that's the race he most closely resemble.

Be honest, if you'd encountered Obama on any streets in America, not knowing his racial makeup, you'd have immediately indentified him as belonging to nothing other than the black/african-American race. If you're of the suspicious type of other races and a female you'd have held on more tightly to your purse. If you're a white male who carries a license weapon on your person, you'd have instinctively moved your hand a little closer to that weapon. If you're a member of law enforcement with that little secret bigoted monster hiding behind that badge, you'd have just as likely harassed, sought to arrest, strip search and sexually assault him in public, Tasered or mace him as you would any other black male.

October 20, 2011 at 8:42 p.m.
ceeweed said...

What's next for Libya?...I really don't think the Libyans will be showing us much love.

October 20, 2011 at 8:45 p.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

ceeweed said... What's next for Libya?...I really don't think the Libyans will be showing us much love

And to think, Libyan leader Gadhafi, like Saddam Hussein, like Osama Bin Laden were all once one of America's most dedicated allies.

thwarr: I guess that's what it looks like on the surface to the uninformed on worldl issues. Sadly, by time you understand it won't matter much if at all. :{

btw- I never supported Bush on anything. I support Obama. I just fear he is being used and may not quite understand the long term ramifications for himself or those who look like him. Obama is being set up as the fallguy and scapegoat for all of Bush failures and boo boos. You might want to ask yourself, what might that mean for fellow African-Americans? How will history record all this? How will future generations see it? Too often, we celebrate the here and now without realizing the future consequences.

October 20, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.
ceeweed said...

The people we rallied and led NATO to save, The people of Eastern Libya, happen to be the same people who flocked to Iraq for a chance to kill Americans....Check the facts, it was from this region of Libya that the greatest number of foreign fighter in Iraq came ...So yeah, living under a dictator sucks, but once a people, oppressed for decades, have been liberated, they are now free to hate more fervently...Especially Christians and Jews.... I don't see the Islamic majorities in Egypt and Iraq Showing Egyptian and Iraqi Christians much love, quite the contrary.

October 20, 2011 at 9:41 p.m.
Echo said...

That ole' 'leading from behind' Obama, America's first half-black Republican president - let's review.

Barry said he'd close Gitmo - it's still open.

Barry said he'd grant amnesty but he's quietly set a record for deportations.

Barry continued the war in Afghanistan, and entered into a new, undeclared, secret war in Libya, spending 1.1 billion US taxpayer dollars.

Barry's backfired "fast and furious" propaganda scheme to disarm lawful Americans put almost 2000 "assault weapons" into the hands of drug dealing narco-armies in Mexico, leading to the death of two U.S. federal agents, and these guns continue to be used to kill innocent Mexican civilians. Barry's foreign policy of regime change at the barrel of a gun makes Iran-Contra look pale.

Barry ordered the execution of a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, violating his 5th (right to due process) and 6th amendments (right to face accusers) to the U.S. constitution, saying that person was a "terrorist". Tim McVeigh got a trial. Nidal Hassan will get a trial. Is the U.S. constitution just a general guideline now? Who needs a U.S. Constitution when you have the Community Organizer of the World in your White House? He signs the orders for some people to take a dirt nap and heads out to play some golf.

Barry seems to be using America's military industrial complex to destabilize foreign governments through violent military intervention and now our gay soldiers, sailors, sensitive airmen and butchy airwomen can be openly gay while they kill people abroad with proud sense of style and panache. Goodbye Olive Drab - Hello Olive Fabulous!!

Is this what the left meant by "progressive change". Barry is more Bush than Bush. Barry should get a podium at the next Republican debate and gloat on how he's winning the war on terror. He can run as the candidate of both parties. Thanks liberals! Aside from the 9% unemployment rate, and making fun of the developmentally disabled, calling police "stupidly" and destroying the economy with Chinese backed debt and socialist policies, you elected Super-Turbo-Bush!

October 21, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.
Momus said...

Hey Echo did you hear... Obama takes out OBL, al Awlaki and Gadhafi with no American casualties. NO AMERICAN CASUALTIES!

October 21, 2011 at 6:32 a.m.
twharr said...

Amnesti wrote: thwarr: I guess that's what it looks like on the surface to the uninformed on worldl issues. Sadly, by time you understand it won't matter much if at all. :{

From the typos and vocabulary I'd say I would destroy you in a debate when it comes to foreign affairs. I'm not sure why you keep referencing race. Its obvious Obama will not live up to your Cornell West view of what an African American President should be. The President of the United States shouldn't side with any race or act like a certain race. He should be a leader who leads all ethnicities.

@ ceeweed, last I checked citizens, let me rephrase, Jihadist from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Qatar, Kuwait and some Western countries helped kill US and Allied forces.

October 21, 2011 at 7:54 a.m.
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