Gaddafi dead after Sirte battle

Richard Evans

Libya's National Transitional Council has confirmed that fighters have shot Colonel Gaddafi dead in Sirte, finally ending the tyrant's 42 year reign over Libya.

The country's former leader died as a result of wounds suffered during his capture. Several images have surfaced online of his dead body.

[Warning: Some people may find the images at the bottom of this page distressing]

The news agency Reuters originally reported that Gaddafi was captured but was still breathing.

"He's captured. He's wounded in both legs ... He's been taken away by ambulance," the senior NTC military official Abdel Majid told Reuters by telephone. However this was later updated, saying that he had died of his wounds.

It is thought Gaddafi was trying to flee in a convoy that was attacked by NATO when he was captured by the NTC.

Majid told Reuters that the head of Gaddafi's armed forces Abu Bakr Younus Jabr was also killed during the capture of the Libyan ex-leader who was apparantly wearing a khaki uniform and wearing a turban.

[Gallery: Gaddafi's 42-year rule in photos]

Majid added that NATO warplanes struck the convoy and hit four cars as it headed west and that Ahmed Ibrahim, a cousin and adviser of Gaddafi, was also captured.

A conflicting report from an NTC fighter claims that Gaddafi was found hiding in a hole in Sirte, shouting "don't shoot, don't shoot".

In the capital Tripoli, sounds of gun shots were heard and people cheered in the street: "God is Great, God is Great, Gaddafi has been captured."

Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a brief statement welcoming the news and saying he is proud of the role Britain played in allowing Libya to move towards a democratic culture.

The below AFP Getty image, reportedly taken from a camera phone, appears to show Muammar Gaddafi covered in blood.

This second images is said to be the hiding place of Gaddafi. The blue graffiti on the wall reads: 'The hiding place of the vile rat Gaddafi'.

Images have emerged of what is believed to be Colonel Gaddafi's body being dragged through the streets by NTC fighters.

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