Post-Mortem Confirms Gaddafi Shot In Head

A post-mortem examination has confirmed Colonel Muammar Gaddafi died of a shot to the head, according to Libya's chief forensic pathologist.

Dr Othman al Zintani said doctors had completed the examination of the Libyan leader's body, but would not reveal further details.

A medical source said Col Gaddafi's body also had a bullet in the abdomen, Reuters reported.

There has been international alarm that the deposed dictator was apparently shot by his captors in a frenzied attack after he was seized alive near Sirte.

A video circulating on the internet shows a crowd gathering around a man who claimed to have fired the fatal bullet.

This contradicts the claims of the National Transitional Council (NTC) interim leadership that Col Gaddafi was fatally wounded in crossfire while being transported to hospital.

The country's prime minister Mahmoud Jibril said the bullet to the head may have been fired by one of his own guards during a shootout with NTC forces.

Mr Jibril said a medical report showed Col Gaddafi was already wounded when he was found in a drainage tube.

He said: "He was taken out, put in that truck and on their way to the field hospital they got crossfire on both sides and they didn't know if the bullet in the head was coming from his own security brigades or from the revolutionary people."

Meanwhile, thousands of Libyans have queued to view his bloodied corpse at a commercial freezer in a shopping centre in the city of Misratah.

It is a macabre tourist attraction, with people filing past the body filming it on their mobile phones.

The corpse was reportedly returned to public view after the post-mortem examination was carried out.

Meanwhile, Sky News has learned the interim government had reached a deal with Col Gaddafi's extended family to hand over his body.

NTC foreign affairs spokesman Ahmed Jibreel said the transfer may be imminent.

But he admitted it had not yet been decided where the tyrant will be buried.

In Benghazi, the interim leadership is preparing for a mass celebration to formally mark the "liberation" of Libya.

The declaration of the end of the eight-month-long war will signal the start of the transition to democracy in Libya, with elections promised by June next year.

The NTC chose to stage the event in the eastern city because the people there led February's uprising against Col Gaddafi's rule.

But the choice of Benghazi also indicates the challenges that still lie ahead in uniting the country.

There have been some misgivings in both the capital Tripoli and Misratah about the people of Benghazi claiming "the glory" for the liberation of the country.

The NTC is still working to establish an effective base in Tripoli, several months after the city was freed from Gaddafi's control.

Disarming the fighting militias, who have local and tribal loyalties, will also be a test of the authority of the NTC.

But overall, the mood in Libya is one of relief and celebration.

In Martyrs' Square in Tripoli - formerly Green Square - crowds are proclaiming the start of a new era in the country.

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