Obama: Gaddafi's Death A Warning To Others

Barack Obama has described Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's death as a strong message to dictators around the world.

Speaking on NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, the US President said the former Libyan leader had missed his chance to bring democracy to his country.

"This is somebody who, for 40 years, has terrorised his country and supported terrorism," he said.

"He had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition into democracy.

"We gave him ample opportunity, and he wouldn't do it," he added.

Col Gaddafi was captured and killed after he tried to flee his hometown of Sirte last Thursday.


His body, and that of his son Mutassim who was also killed, was buried in a secret desert location on Tuesday.

There has been an international call for an investigation into Col Gaddafi's death after he appeared to be heavily beaten by his captors and then shot in the head.

Graphic footage of him before and after he died has been viewed around the world.

"Obviously, you never like to see anybody come to the kind of end that he did, but I think it obviously sends a strong message around the world to dictators that ... people long to be free," Mr Obama added.

The President is in the middle of a visit to western states including Nevada, California and Colorado, where he has mixed White House business with events for his 2012 re-election campaign.