REPORTS: GADHAFI DEAD
Unconfirmed reports are flying that Muammar Gaddafi was killed or captured by fighters who stormed his hometown on Thursday morning. Plus, see the photo that purports to show his arrest.
The State Department and NATO are looking to confirm reports today from Libya that rebel forces have captured or killed former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
“The State Department cannot at this time confirm media reports on the capture or killing of Muammar Gaddafi,” said State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland. A NATO official told the Associated Press that the alliance was still trying to confirm news reports.
On Thursday morning, Jamal abu-Shaalah, a member of Libya’s Transitional National Council told al-Jazeera that Gaddafi had been captured near his home town of Sirte.
Reuters reported that an NTC spokesman said Gaddafi died of his wounds. “He was also hit in the head,” the official said. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”
Al Jazeera reported that Gaddafi’s former spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, also had been captured in the gun battle.
Unconfirmed Reports of Gaddafi’s Capture
Reuters quoted a Libyan government official who said that Gaddafi was hiding in a hole and shouted “don’t shoot, don’t shoot” upon capture. Tripoli reportedly erupted in celebration upon the news, as people cheered “God is great, God is great, Gaddafi has been captured.” Other reports indicated that Gaddafi was waving a golden pistol when he was found.
Gaddafi’s Hometown Falls
All of Libya’s major cities belong to the new government after its troops seized Sirte Thursday morning. Troops loyal to Gaddafi had been holding out in his hometown for weeks, but government troops cleared them in a 90-minute push. “There are no Gaddafi forces any more,” said on government colonel. “We are now chasing his fighters who are trying to run away.” Gaddafi loyalists’ last refuge, now, is the town of Bani Walid, southeast of Tripoli.