Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is dead. The deposed despot died of his wounds after being captured in his home town, his last stronghold, of Sirte. The news was confirmed by Libyan prime minister Mahmoud Jibril in the last few minutes.
Earlier, Reuters reported:
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya’s interim rulers said.
His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.
Like Saddam Hussein, he was captured cowering in a hole; the Telegraph’s Ben Farmer describing:
Colonel Gaddafi was finally cornered in a drain underneath a road in open countryside to the west of the city of Sirte. Rebels said a column of vehicles tried to punch out of an encirclement at dawn. They parked up around 3-4kms west of the town, which was hit by a NATO airstrike.
Gaddafi and several bodyguards were then forced to take refuge in the drain where they were then captured and taken away by revolutionary forces.
It is reported Gaddafi’s corpse has arrived in Misrata, while National Transitional Council information minister Mahmoud Shammam says:
“Our people in Sirte saw the body… [head of the NTC] Mustafa Abdul-Jalil will confirm it soon. Revolutionaries say Gaddafi was in a convoy and that they attacked the convoy.”
There has been widespread rejoicing, rejoicing, rejoicing in Tripoli and throughout Free Libya. Liberal interventionism has been proved, once more, to have worked. And there will no doubt be delight in Downing Street – with David Cameron expected to speak this afternoon – Paris and Washington. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is also expected to speak shortly.
Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama take credit, but the biggest credit goes to the rebels, who, backed overhead by NATO, have won a decisive, definitive victory.
They have fought Gaddafi back from the gates of Benghazi to the drains of Sirte; Gaddafi is gone, long live Libya.
• Look Left – Libya: Allies urge “reconciliation and forgiveness” – Shamik Das, September 2nd 2011
• Where does NATO, Cameron, and the West stand after the Libyan intervention? – Marcus Roberts, August 22nd 2011
• Cameron stands firm on Libya as poll shows support for regime change – Shamik Das, June 21st 2011
• Look Left – World finally decides to take action against Gaddafi – Shamik Das, March 18th 2011
• If the West doesn’t act, Gaddafi will massacre the rebels – Marcus Roberts, March 15th 2011