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Libya to Officially Declare Liberation

Libya's National Transitional Council is set to formally declare liberation on Sunday.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/22/2011, 11:45 PM

Libyan Rebel (Sirte)
Libyan Rebel (Sirte)
Screen Capture

Libya's National Transitional Council is set to formally declare liberation on Sunday.

The move comes in the wake of the death of former dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who was killed last week following a NATO air strike on a convoy leaving the strongman's hometown of Sirte.

The declaration of liberation officially will start the clock for national elections to select a new government for the country.

It comes two months after the rebel forces seized the Libyan capital of Tripoli, and Qaddafi's compound, sending the dictator into hiding.

The National Transitional Council, which has governed the country temporarily, delayed formally declaring liberation until Qaddafi could be captured or killed, however -- a feat that proved difficult due to fierce resistance by loyalists in his hometown of Sirte, as well as in Bani Walid, and areas in the country's arid south.

Qaddafi's luck finally ran out last week, however, and he was discovered and killed by the opposition forces after the convoy in which he may have been traveling was bombed.

The exact circumstances of the dictator's death have yet to be clarified -- reports have ranged from an execution-style shooting, and being dragged alive and wounded through the streets, to being caught in the crossfire between NTC forces and Qaddafi loyalists.

At least one of Qaddafi's sons -- and possibly both of those who were in hiding with him, including Mutassim and his heir-apparent, Saif al-Islam, -- was also killed in the clash.