The Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) military chief announced that toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds yesterday following capture near his hometown of Sirte.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed,” the de facto Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told reporters in Tripoli.
Abdul Hakim Belhaj, an NTC military chief, said Gaddafi had died of his wounds after being captured near Sirte yesterday.
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 news agency.
Earlier, Abdel Majid, another NTC official, said the toppled leader had been wounded in both legs. 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.
Meanwhile, there were conflicting reports about the fate of one of Gaddafi’s sons, Mutassim. Mahmoud Shammam, the NTC’s Information minister, said he had received reports that Mutassim had been captured alive, but he could not confirm the news.
“Our information from the commanders in the field is that Mutassim Gaddafi has been captured alive in Sirte,” he told Reuters.
However, Mohamed Leith, an NTC commander, told the AFP news agency that Mutassim had been killed.
“We found him dead. We put his body and that of (former Defence minister) Abu Bakr Younus in an ambulance to take them to Misrata.”
Footage had emerged earlier in the day of the body of Younus. Abdul Hakim Al Jalil, commander of the NTC’s 11th Brigade, said Moussa Ibrahim, former spokesman for Gaddafi’s fallen government, had been captured near Sirte.
Nato and the US State Department said they could not confirm any reports.
Meanwhile in Benghazi and Tripoli, crowds gathered in the streets to start celebrating the death of Gaddafi.