Libyans wave their new national flag as they celebrate in the streets of Tripoli following news of Muammar Gaddafi's capture on October 20, 2011.
Credit: Mahmud Turkia
The Gaddafi live blog has ended. Please go to GlobalPost's Gaddafi coverage highlights. GLOBALPOST GADDAFI LIVE BLOG:

UPDATE: 10/21/11 9:00 AM

Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam is still unaccounted for.

Al-Arabiya TV has Tweeted several conflicting reports: that he is dead, that he is wounded and captured, that he has fled towards Niger, and most recently that he has been captured in Zlitin, near Misrata.

Sky News Tweets that Saif is thought to be in Ghat, near the border with Algeria.

Al Jazeera reports he is in hospital after losing his arm, citing Libyan military officials.

UPDATE: 10/21/11 9:00 AM

GlobalPost's exclusive video from Libya showing the moment Gaddafi was pulled from a drain is getting a lot of attention around the world. NPR discusses the video today, pointing out that it has contributed to the U.N. Human Rights Council calling for an investigation into how the former Libyan dictator died.

After videos surfaced that prove the deposed leader was alive when he was found by fighters loyal to the new government, the U.N. Human Rights Council is calling for an investigation.

One of those videos was published on the Global Post site. The jerky (and graphic) cellphone video shows a wounded Gadhafi, surrounded by a frenzied crowd of men. That video, when seen in the context of one from moments later that shows Gadhafi's corpse, is "very disturbing," says a U.N. representative.

Here is the video:

UPDATE: 10/21/11 6:31 AM

Gaddafi will be given a Muslim burial within 24 hours, according to a National Transitional Council commander.

Abdul-Salam Eleiwa told Reuters:

"He will get his right like any Muslim, his body will be washed and treated with dignity. I expect he will be buried in a Muslim cemetery within 24 hours."

Gaddafi's body is currently being storied in a freezer unit in Misrata. A Reuters witness who claims to have seen it says it has a bullet hole in the head, scratches, and bruising, though much of the blood visible in video footage of the capture seems to have been washed off.

UPDATE: 10/21/11 6:18 AM

NATO operations in Libya are over, says French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe.

France was among the NATO allies that spearheaded the air campaign against Gaddafi's forces, along with the U.S. and Britain.

The Telegraph quotes him as saying in a radio interview:

"The operation must now conclude because our objective, which was to accompany the forces of the National Transitional Council in the liberation of their territory, has now been reached.

"Our goal was not to kill Gaddafi. When I say us, I'm talking about the coalition, of France within Nato. Our goal was to force him to relinquish power. It was then up to the National Transitional Council to capture and judge him," he said.

On Thursday, French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said French forces would remain in Libya to protect civilians from violence, before winding down operations, Reuters reports.

UPDATE: 10/21/11 6:10 AM

Libya's ruling National Transitional Council said Thursday that no order had been given to kill deposed Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Jerusalem Post reports.

UPDATE: 10/21/11 5:56 AM

The burial of Muammar al-Gaddafi has been delayed until his death can be examined by the International Criminal Court, The AP reports, quoting a senior member of the governing National Transitional Council (NTC).  

The U.N. human rights office, meantime, called Friday for an investigation into Gaddafi's death, with spokesman Rupert Colville quoted by The AP separately as saying:

"More details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in some form of fighting or was executed after his capture."

"The two cell phone videos that have emerged, one of him alive, and one of him dead, taken together are very disturbing."

According to The AP, the involvement of what the NTC's Mohamed Sayeh called a "third party" was necessitated by bloody images that "have raised questions over how exactly he died after he was captured wounded, but alive."

Sayeh also reportedly said that Gaddafi's body was in Misrata, and that it would be "buried with respect according to Islam tradition and will not have a public funeral."

UPDATE: 10/21/11 4:00 AM

U.S. President Barack Obama has called the death of Muammar al-Gaddafi the end of a "long and painful chapter for the people of Libya," CNN reports, and also praised the efforts of U.S. military personnel who took part in the NATO camapign in Libya.

"Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives," Obama reportedly said, adding that America would support American support "as Libyans' efforts to rebuild. NATO's air campaign, he said, had "demonstrated what collective action can achieve in the 21st century."

A perhaps prescient headline in The Telegraph read: "Will Barack Obama try to grab the glory for the downfall of Gaddafi?"

CNN saw an ovbious reference to Syria and President Bashar al-Assad in Obama's comment that Gaddafi's death proved "once more that the rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end."

"Across the Arab world, citizens have stood up to claim their rights," the president said. "Youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictatorship, and those leaders who try to deny human dignity will not succeed."

UPDATE: 10/21/11 3:46 AM

Libya is planning a secret burial for Muammar al-Gaddafi, BBC reports, adding that it will take place "within the next few hours."  

UPDATE: 10/21/11 1:52 AM

China's leaders have "updated" their references to Muammar al-Gaddafi in the state media, switching from the "strongman" who defied the West to the "madman" whose time ran out, The Associated Press reports. Opportunism? Perhaps pragmatic realism, especially when you're an energy hungry emerging nation eying off the kind of oil reserves Libya's sitting on.

UPDATE: 10/21/11 1:34 AM

More details are emerging on the last minutes of Muammar al-Gaddafi’s life. An ex-rebel fighter named Mohammed, "a young fighter in his 20s wearing a blue t-shirt and a New York Yankees baseball cap," told the BBC he found Gaddafi hiding in the tiny drain pipe. The colonel allegedly looked up and said simply: "Don't shoot."

Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports about how and at whose hands exactly Gaddafi died. The consensus seems to be that he was alive when captured. ">Al Jazeera aired video that purports to show Gaddafi's still alive when captured. Graphic and exclusive video from GlobalPost, meanwhile, captured on the mobile phone of 21-year-old Ali Algadi, shows Gaddafi being dragged from his hiding place, bloodied and dazed. Those present shout repeatedly, "Don't' kill him! Don't kill him! We need him alive."

In all footage, Gaddafi appears bloodsoaked and disoriented, either being dragged around or restrained by gun-toting ex-rebels who yell at him and tug his hair, while he appears to yell back.

Reuters reports Gaddafi died around noon and that an ex-rebel official said Gaddafi died after capture in a firefight between his supporters and his captors.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:31 PM

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez remembers Muammar al Gaddafi as "a great fighter, a revolutionary and martyr." GlobalPost's Girish Gupta in Caracas has the story.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:19 PM

Who shot Gaddafi? Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said at a press conference that Gaddafi was not fatally wounded when captured in the sewage pipe but died when the vehicle he was placed in got caught in crossfire, Al Jazeera reports.

"When the car was moving it was caught in crossfire between the revolutionaries and Gaddafi forces in which he was hit by a bullet to the head," Jibril said, according to Al Jazeera. "The forensic doctor could not tell if it came from the revolutionaries or from Gaddafi's forces."

UPDATE: 10/20/11 10:20 PM

GlobalPost correspondent in Libya Tracey Shelton has exclusive video taken just seconds after Gaddafi is pulled from his hiding place.

The shock discovery of the former dictator, found cowering in a water drain on Thursday in his hometown of Sirte, was captured by Ali Algadi, a rebel fighter, with an iPhone just seconds after Gaddafi was dragged from the drain he was hiding in. This is the earliest footage to emerge so far.

Here is the video. Warning: it's very graphic.





UPDATE: 10/20/11 6:05 PM

Something many of us will miss: Gaddafi fashion. Check out this GlobalPost photo gallery of Gaddafi's unique "style" through the years.

Plus, Gaddafi is not unique in every way. Here's a GlobalPost look at other dictators who have been overthrown by their own people.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 5:50 PM

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joked with a CBS reporter Thursday after hearing the news that Gaddafi had been killed.

“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked.

Meanwhile, a U.S. district judge has ruled that Obama cannot be sued on grounds that he violated the War Powers Act by ordering the attack on Libya without Congress’s approval, Bloomberg reports.

The case — brought to court by 10 lawmakers, including Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Dennis Kucinich — was thrown out by the judge because he said the lawmakers failed to demonstrate that they had the right to sue the president.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 5:25 PM

GlobalPost correspondent in Libya Tracey Shelton reports from Sirte that rebel fighters celebrated after Gaddafi's capture, hugging each other, firing guns in the air and shaking their heads in disbelief.

Some wrote the names of their battalions around the concrete drain and labeled it “Gaddafi’s hole.”

One man held up a brown sock tied around his rifle butt.

“This is the sock of Muammar Gaddafi, I swear!”

Continue reading here.

Meanwhile, several Republican presidential candidates have now responded to the news of Gaddafi's death.

“The death of Muammar Gaddafi is good news for the people of Libya. It should bring the end of conflict there, and help them move closer to elections and a real democracy," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said. “The United States should work closely with Libya to ensure the transition is successful, and that a stable, peaceful nation emerges."

UPDATE: 10/20/11 5:10 PM

GlobalPost has exclusive video captured on the mobile phone of 21-year-old Ali Algadi showing Gaddafi being dragged from his hiding place, bloodied and dazed. Those present shout repeatedly, “Don’t’ kill him! Don’t kill him! We need him alive.” The former dictator, however, was later confirmed to be dead.

Again, the video is graphic.




UPDATE: 10/20/11 4:45 PM

The body of Gaddafi's son, Motassim, is now laid out at a private house in Misrata, and local residents are lining up to take photos of the body, the Jerusalem Post reports.

People jostling around the body, covered to the waist by a blue plastic sheet, were said to be shouting “Allahu Akbar” or “God is great.”

Earlier, a Libyan government television channel broadcast a picture showing the dead body of Gaddafi’s son, Motassim, according the Reuters. The picture is a close-up shot of Motassim lying dead on a stretcher, stripped down to the waist, in a Libyan hospital.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 3:30 PM

Two fabulous GlobalPost additions to the Libya story:

Photo Editor Nick Dynan put together this PlanetPic Photo Gallery: The Rise and Fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

And GlobalPost's correspondent in Libya, James Foley, has this video from Sirte on the capture and killing of Gaddafi. The video is a powerful must-see, but please note that it is graphic.


Meanwhile, a U.S. defense official says a U.S. drone fired on Gaddafi’s convoy as it was trying to flee Sirte, Fox News reports. The drone was part of an airstrike that did not destroy the convoy, which included about 80 vehicles. The vehicle carrying Gaddafi was later intercepted by fighters on the ground.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 3:30 PM

As the dictator of an oil-rich nation, the Gaddafi family weath is estimated to run into the tens of billions of dollars. GlobalPost correspondent Michael Goldfarb asks what happens now to the family riches.

What happens to these assets depends on the political process in Libya. It also depends on where the assets are deemed to have originated

UPDATE: 10/20/11 3:15 PM

NATO will work on an end to its Libya mission, Reuters reports. It will coordinate an end to the mission with the United Nations and Libya's transitional government.

"We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.

He also said he calls on "all Libyans to put aside their differences and work together to build a brighter future."

Meanwhile, rumors about the fate of Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam continue to swirl. If still alive, international justice institutions have urged him to turn himself in to authorities.

“Colonel Gaddafi will not be able to answer to the crimes leveled against him which makes it even more important that those who were part of his inner circle and who remain at large are captured and face their accusers so that the rule of law can run its course," said a joint statement issued by Interpol and the International Criminal Court, as reported in the Telegraph.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 2:55 PM

Twitter reacts to Obama's statement on the death of Gaddafi. Here's a roundup of reactions:


[View the story "Obama: Gaddafi's death marks 'end of a long and painful chapter'" on Storify]

UPDATE: 10/20/11 2:45 PM

GlobalPost's Africa Editor Andrew Meldrum writes that Gaddafi's death has not been well received in every corner of the world. The former Libyan leader remains a hero in the eyes of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party.

“This is a sad day for the people of Africa. This is the beginning of a new recolonization of Africa,” said retired Major Cairo Mhandu, a Zanu-PF member of parliament.

“Through the forces of NATO and the West, we have lost one of our brothers,” he told GlobalPost. “Muammar Gaddafi won elections and was a true leader. It is foreigners who toppled him, not Libyans. Gaddafi died fighting. He is a true African hero.”

Continue reading.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 2:25 PM

GlobalPost's Middle East editor Peter Gelling analyzes what will happen to Libya now that Gaddafi has been captured and killed. Will a civil war break out?

While the revolution is at its end, deep divisions remain in the country, and fears of civil war are ever present. The Libyan rebels themselves are far from unified and have been jockeying for power amongst themselves for months. And, now that the focus of the rebels' firepower — Gaddafi — is gone, many Libyans worry that the real divisions within the rebel faction will begin to emerge in more serious, and possibly violent, ways.

Continue reading.

Plus, here is a collection of GlobalPost videos that have covered the war in Libya from the ground. GlobalPost invites you to take a look back at the twists and turns of the Libyan uprising.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 2:15 PM

President Obama made a statement addressing the death of Gaddafi at a press conference Thursday. He reflected on the lives that have been lost under Gaddafi's rule and efforts by the United States and its allies to help Libya's people topple the regime.

"Today belongs to the people of Libya," he said.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 2:00 PM

Amnesty International is calling for an investigation into Gaddafi’s death and for justice to be brought to all of those suspected of human rights abuses, AP reports.

"The legacy of repression and abuse from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's rule will not end until there is a full accounting for the past and human rights are embedded in Libya's new institutions," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty's deputy director for North Africa and the Middle East, according to Reuters. 

UPDATE: 10/20/11 1:45 PM

The African Union has lifted its suspension on Libya membership and will set up an office in Tripoli led by a Special Representative, Reuters reports.

The AU has decided to “authorize the current authorities in Libya to occupy the seat of Libya in the AU and its organs,” a statement from the AU said.

The AU released this statement Thursday, but the meeting where the decision was made was held prior to Gaddafi’s death and the fall of his hometown Sirte to NTC fighters.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 1:40 PM

There are unconfirmed reports swirling around that Gaddafi's two sons, Saif al-Islam and Motassim, have been killed; however, GlobalPost has not confirmed these reports.

In the latest, Al Jazeera states that the National Transitional Council's information minister has said Motassim had been hiding with his father and is now dead. Again, GlobalPost has not confirmed this.

In U.S. political news, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney responded to Gaddafi’s death after a town hall meeting in Iowa, saying the world is a better place without him, according to CNN.

“I think it’s about time Gaddafi, a terrible tyrant that killed his own people and murdered Americans and others in the tragedy in Lockerbie,” Romney said. “The world is a better place with Gaddafi gone.”

Meanwhile, a doctor who examined Gaddafi’s body has told the AP that the former leader died from two bullet wounds to the head and chest.

Gaddafi’s body was then placed on top of a vehicle and driven through the streets of Misrata with people surrounding the vehicle chanting: “The blood of the matyrs will not go in vain.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 1:20 PM

Here's a GlobalPost photo gallery showing a timeline of Gaddafi's rule.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 1:10 PM

Al Arabiya English, the Dubai-based news channel, has tweeted that it has confirmed reports that Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, has been killed. The tweet is being sent around, including by BBC. GlobalPost has not confirmed this.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 12:50 PM

Al Jazeera's reporting that there are unconfirmed reports that Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, has been captured and is injured.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy — a major proponent of military intervention in Libya — has issued a statement calling for “reconciliation in unity and freedom” in Libya, Reuters reports.

"The liberation of Sirte must signal...the start of a process agreed by the [National Transitional Council] to establish a democratic system in which all groups in the country have their place and where fundamental freedoms are guaranteed," he said.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 12:35 PM

Libya's interim leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, will announce by Friday that Libya has been liberated, said the country's interim premier, Mahmoud Jibril, according to Al Jazeera.

“With the confirmation that all the evil people, including Gaddafi, have vanished from this beloved country," Jibril said, "it is time for Libyans to start a new country, a united Libya, one people with one future."

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera released another video showing Gaddafi being beat up in the street. This one shows Gaddafi alive, in the hands of NTC forces, just moment before his death. It is also very graphic.


UPDATE: 10/20/11 12:20 PM

Check out GlobalPost's slideshow of the women formerly known as Gaddafi's bodyguards.


UPDATE: 10/20/11 12:10 PM

CBS News has a video reporting to show U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responding to news on her Blackberry that Gaddafi was captured. She looks surprised but then says she's skeptical that the news is real. She received the message during a series of press interviews in Kabul, Afghanistan.



UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:55 AM

NATO member states will meet tomorrow to decide an end on the military campaign in Libya, a NATO official has told The Guardian.

"A military assessment of the current situation in Libya anda recommendation for the wrapping up of the Nato operation on its way to Nato HQ. This will most likely prompt a special meeting of the North Atlantic Council tomorrow to consider the recommendation and decide on the future of the current mission," the note to the Guardian read.

Meanwhile, relatives of the victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing have given their reactions to the media.

Jim Swire, whose daughter died in the bombing, told Sky News: “now that he is dead we may have lost an opportunity for getting nearer to the truth.”

“I would have loved to have heard about what Gaddafi knew about the Lockerbie atrocity. But everybody looking at this situation should be glad that it probably hails an end to the gross violence in that country,” he said.

The Telegraph reported that Kathy Tedeschi, whose first husband was killed in the Lockerbie bombing, reacted to the news by saying, “I hope he’s in hell with Hitler.”

UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:40 AM

U.N. Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-moon has reacted to the news, reports the Guardian.

“This day marks a historic transition for Libya. In the coming days we will witness scenes of celebration as well as grief for those who have lost so much. But I recognize that this is only the end of the beginning. The road ahead for Libya will be difficult and full of challenges," he said.

"This is a time of healing," he added, "not for revenge."

Meanwhile, a Libyan doctor in a Misrata hospital has told Ahram Online, an Egyptian news source, that Gaddafi died from gunshots to the stomach and head.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:30 AM

The obituaries for Gaddafi are flowing.

From the Economist:

When death overtook him, he had ruled Libya for 42 years. The handsome, magnetic army captain who had overthrown King Idris in 1969 had become a robed buffoon, with a surgically smoothed face, a mop of dyed black hair and, until she scuttled home, a blonde Ukrainian nurse on his arm. Yet he was no less cunning. Behind the designer shades his eyes were those of a fox. By sheer imposition of the cult of himself, he had held his tribally fractious country together.

And from The New York Times:

Colonel Gaddafi, 69, was an erratic, provocative dictator with the wardrobe and looks befitting an aging rock star. To thwart potential rivals at home, he sanctioned spasms of grisly violence and frequent bedlam, while on the world stage he sought to leverage his nation’s immense oil wealth into an outsized personal role.

He anointed himself with a string of titles over the years: “the brother leader,” “the guide to the era of the masses,” “the king of kings of Africa” and — his most preferred — “the leader of the revolution.


UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:20 AM

Libya's prime minister has confirmed that Gaddafi is dead.

“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference in Tripoli, as reported by the Washington Post. “Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”

Libyan officials have also reported that Gaddafi’s son, Mo’tassim, was taken prisoner in the same incident in which Gaddafi was killed, according to Reuters. Mo’tassim was said to be “lying on bed, covered in blood, but alive.”

Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice-chairman of Libya’s NTC, confirmed Gaddafi’s death and proclaimed “the end of tyranny," in this video from the Guardian.


UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:10 AM

Here is a GlobalPost slideshow of the top 10 crazy things Gaddafi has said.

John McCain, former Republican presidential candidate and the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Gaddafi’s death is only the “first phase” in the Libyan revolution, according to the National Journal.

“The United States, along with our European allies and Arab partners, must now deepen our support for the Libyan people, as they work to make the next phase of their democratic revolution as successful as the fight to free their country," he said.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 11:00 AM

The European Union became the first official Western organization to react to news of Gaddafi’s death, the Jerusalem Post reported.

"The reported death of Muammar Gaddafi marks the end of an era of despotism and repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long."

And, perhaps a little more entertaining, here is a slideshow from GlobalPost of Gaddafi's female bodyguards.

Here is a collection of reactions to Gaddafi's death on Twitter:

View "Reactions to Gaddafi's death" on Storify




UPDATE: 10/20/11 10:50 AM

Here is video from CBS News that includes the bloody image of Gaddafi captured that has gone viral. Warning: this video is very graphic.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 10:40 AM


News of Gaddafi’s death in Sirte has prompted massive celebrations in the city. Here is video from Russia Today showing the latest excitement in Sirte.


UPDATE: 10/20/11 10:35 AM

Al Jazeera reports that Gaddafi's body is now in Misrata and being kept in a mosque.


UPDATE: 10/20/11 10:30 AM


A U.S. State Department official responded to the Gaddafi news by saying it "looks like he's been killed," CNN reports. The State Department is still awaiting official confirmation.

UPDATE: 10/20/11 10:25 AM

Here is an Al Jazeera video reporting to show Gaddafi dead.



CNN has a video with more news on Gaddafi.


Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebel fighters Thursday, the country's interim government announced.

"A new Libya is born today," Mahmoud Shammam, the chief spokesman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), said Thursday as reported by The New York Times. "This is the day of real liberation. We were serious about giving him a fair trial. It seems God has some other wish."

Colonel Ahmed Bani, the military spokesman of the NTC, has confirmed to Al Jazeera that Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.

GlobalPost correspondent James Foley reports from Gaddafi's hometown, Sirte, that a rebel fighter said he witnessed the capture and killing of Gaddafi.

Imad Moustaf said Gaddafi had been shot in the head and close to the heart on the outskirts of the western roundabout of Sirte, where he was hiding in a hole surrounded by bodyguards. Moustaf claimed to have been in the ambulance with Gaddafi when he died. 

There are multiple reports that Gaddafi's body has been taken to a secret location in Misrata, about 125 miles to the west of Sirte.



#color { border-color:#bbbbbb; border-style:solid; border-width:1px; background-color:#F8F8F8; float:center; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 30px; line-height:14px display:block; padding: 15px; }

Related Stories