Graphic images of Gaddafi corpse prove his death
PICTURES of deposed Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi’s dead body were released today to prove he had been killed at the hands of rebels.
The Libyan National Transitional Council said that he died after suffering extensive wounds in the final battle for his stronghold of Sirte.
Spokesman Abdel Hafez Ghoga said: "We announce to the world that Kadhafi has been killed at the hands of the revolution. It is an historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Kadhafi has met his fate."
An NTC official said his body is now being held at a logistics depot about 12 km south of Misrata
Government fighters in Sirte displayed what they claimed was the former leader’s gold plated gun and graffiti has already appeared on the drain where he was cornered which translates as: “This is the place the rat Gaddafi was hiding” and “Contemptible Gaddafi”.
The tyrant, who was holed up in Sirte since August, was reportedly shot once in the head and once in each leg.
Earlier today Abdel Majid Mlegta of the NTC told Reuters that Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn this morning as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.
"He was also hit in his head. There was a lot of firing against his group and he died."
Confused reports from Libya, after the fall of the town, at first indicated that he had been injured in both legs but was in custody.
Some members of Gaddafi’s family fled over the border in August, but other family members were with him.
Al Jazeera reported spontaneous celebration in the cities of Benghazi and Tripoli, with people cheering and shouting, car horns sounding and small arms fire being heard.
Rebels converged on the centre of Sirte declaring outright victory and hoisted the new national flag over the former stronghold of Gaddafi and his supporters.
In the early hours of the morning, at least five cars carrying loyalist fighters attempted to escape the city, but most were rounded up and killed by revolutionaries.
Libyan rebels then moved into the city's Number Two residential neighbourhood, which was the last pocket of pro-Gaddafi resistance left in the war-torn country.
"Sirte has been liberated. There are no Gaddafi forces any more," said Col Yunus Al Abdali, head of operations in the eastern half of the city. "We are now chasing his fighters who are trying to run away."
However, there were reports that Gaddafi loyalists had ditched their military uniforms and were firing indiscriminately at civilians.
The final assault on the remaining pro-Gaddafi positions began around 8am (7am GMT) on Thursday and was over after about 90 minutes.
Civilians, whose city has been under siege since Gaddafi was removed from power at the end of August, were making their way to the centre to celebrate. The Telegraph, witnessing scenes in the centre of the city siad there were scens of relief, jubilation and intense celebratory gunfire among National Transitional Council (NTC) forces.
The new national flag was raised above a large utilities building in the Mediterranean city, which had been under siege for nearly two months.
A rebel commander confirmed that loyalist fighters in the city had been rounded up.
"This is the last day of the fight," Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Abdel Salam of the Misurata Brigade told AFP. "Within some hours we will announce that Sirte is free."
Abdel Salam said that National Transitional Council troops were now carrying out a mopping up operation in the city's Number Two residential neighbourhood, the last redoubt of Gaddafi loyalists in the war-torn country.
Rebel officials have claimed that Sirte has been liberated several times in the past three weeks. The capture of the town raises hopes that the rebels will be in a position to claim outright victory.
A rump of pro-Gaddafi fighters have been holding out against rebel troops, in a bloody battle that has left dozens dead on both sides and major damage to the city, which was Gaddafi's birthplace.
The fate of the city has become entwined with the immediate political future of Libya after the National Transitional Council said a full interim government could not be named until Sirte had fallen.
Gaddafi was at one time believed to be hiding in Sirte, but his whereabouts remain unknown. Sirte was lavished with money by him and treated as a second capital.
It was reported that Gaddafi was captured and killed as he tried to flee in a convoy which was attacked by Nato.
Television broadcasts showed footage of NTC troops celebrating the fall of Sirte and the apparent capture of Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
There were fierce gun battles on the streets of the coastal city this morning, bringing an end to a siege which has lasted almost two months since the fall of capital Tripoli to rebel troops in August.
"Our forces control the last neighbourhood in Sirte," NTC member Hassan Draoua told AP. "The city has been liberated."
Unverified reports today said that Mutassim Gaddafi, the dictator’s fifth son had also been killed and his former defence Minister Abu Bakr Yunis was also dead.
Gaddafi’s spokesman Moussa Ibrahim has reportedly been captured by rebel forces.
Sky News reported this afternoon that another son Saif, who was reported to have been captured earlier this year, is actually still at large.