“Don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” may have been fugitive Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi's final words, Reuters reports.
“Qaddafi’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, a National Transitional Council official in the city of Misrata, told the wire service. NATO officials are expected to confirm the kill in the near future.
Qaddafi was reportedly captured and killed fleeing his hometown of Sirte, Reuters said, citing National Transitional Council (NTC) official Abdel Majid Mlegta.
In late afternoon press conference in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, Mahmoud Jibril, the prime minister of Libya’s interim government made an official announcement.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” he said. “Muammar al-Qaddafi has been killed.”
Even before Jibril’s press conference, chief NTC spokesman Mahmoud Shammam, confirmed the swirling rumors in the media.
“A new Libya has been born today,” he said. ”This is the day of real liberation. We were serious about giving [al-Qaddafi] a fair trial. It seems G-d has some other wish.”
Reuters cited other military sources as saying Qaddafi was found hiding in a hole in the ground, not unlike former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The dictator's demise came as the final Qaddafi stronghold of Sirte fell early this morning. The longtime strongman was reportedly shot in both legs.
“He was also hit in his head,” he said. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”
As celebrations at the dictator's death erupted in Libya's cities NTC military spokesman Abdel Rahman Busin told reporters that “Sirte is fully liberated.”
Qaddafi has been called bombastic, colorful, eccentric, incoherent, manic, narcissistic, treacherous and iconic, to name a few of the adjectives used to describe him. The death of Qaddafi marks the end of 42 years of harsh rule under his strangely-premised Green Book.
Qaddafi's death as Sirte fell is a windfall for the interim rebel government, which had said they would not declare Libya liberated until the city was in their hands.
Rebel forces reportedly hoisted their green, red and black flag over the town marking the country's final liberation.
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