Saturday, October 22, 2011


(click on pictures for enlargment -> slideshow)

The last few moments of Gaddafi's life became clearer today as pictures surfaced of the moment a handgun was pushed to his temple.

Seconds later the spluttering dictator can no longer be heard. The next scenes show the tyrant's lifeless body on the ground. His eyes are closed and he's not breathing.

The dramatic video will clear up some of the mystery surround Gaddafi's death as his widow calls for an inquiry into how her husband died.

The images appear to dispell claims from Libya's new government that the former leader was killed by crossfire on the way to hospital. Instead, they point to a frenzied execution surrounded by jeering rebels.

The gun in pushed into Gaddafi's shoulder raising the possibility he was tortured by being shot here first. Right, the pistol is then pointed at the terrified dictator's head..

Final seconds: Gaddafi is turned on his side to face the ground, an apparent gesture carried out to spare him from looking his killer in the eyes..

Gadaffi is pushed around among a group of rebels as he sits slumped on the ground. He's then driven away in a truck.

Gaddafi says on the recording: 'What are you doing? It’s not allowed in Islamic law. What you are doing is forbidden.

'What you’re doing is wrong, guys. Do you know what is right or wrong?'

The young men scream 'Muammar, you dog!' as their former leader wipes at blood covering the left side of his head, neck and left shoulder.

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Gaddafi gestures to the young men to be patient, and says 'What's going on?' as he wipes fresh blood from his temple and glances at his palm.

A young fighter later is shown carrying a boot and screaming, 'This is Muammar's shoe! This is Muammar's shoe! Victory! Victory!'

'Keep him alive, keep him alive!' someone shouts.

Another rebel screams: 'God is great. God is omnipotent.' And as Gaddafi begs for mercy, a fighter says: 'Shut up, you dog', someone else shouts; 'This is for Misrata, you dog,' said one man slapping him.

Another rebel screams: 'God is great. God is omnipotent.' And as Gaddafi begs for mercy, a fighter says: 'Shut up, you dog.'

Gaddafi was still alive when he was captured hiding in a storm drain outside his home town of Sirte, but he had blood streaming down the side of his face.

Gaddafi in an ambulance: The driver said the dictator was already dead when he was picked up and therefore he didn't try to revive him

Government fighters hauled him onto the bonnet of a Toyota pick-up truck with the intention, one of them said, of getting him through the crowd of fellow fighters and to an ambulance parked about 500 metres away.

Gaddafi can be heard in one video saying 'God forbids this' several times as slaps from the crowd rain down on his head.

Misrata, one of the heartlands of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion, suffered months of siege and artillery bombardment at the hands of his forces.

Another video shows Gaddafi being heaved off the bonnet of the truck and dragged towards a car, then pulled down by his hair.

But another man in the crowd lets out a high-pitched hysterical scream. Gaddafi then goes out of view and gunshots ring out.

Another video resumes moments later that shows Gaddafi dead on the ground. He has clearly been killed.

The light conditions are the same and the same frenzied atmosphere can be heard. The same footwear seen in the first recording are also in the second.

Gun fire from an automatic-rile is heard before the recording ends. A second video resumes moments later that shows Gaddafi dead on the ground. He has clearly been killed.

Rebel fighter Nabil Ali Dagouich, who was there at the capture, shows shows off Gaddafi's golden gun

The ambulance driver, Ali Jaghdoun, said Gaddafi was dead when he picked him up and he then drove the body to the city of Misrata. ' I didn't try to revive him because he was already dead, Jaghdoun said.

Gaddafi's golden gun was stripped from him. He also had a silver gun.

Acting prime minister Mahmoud Jibril said today that investigations into who shot Gaddafi were continuing.

He gave his own account of the likely events leading up to the death of the former Libyan leader.
He said: 'It seems that he was involved in a battle between the Qatari security brigades of Gaddafi and the freedom fighters. And he was hiding in some sort of a sewage tube. One of the mercenaries, he's a Mauritanian, when he was caught he told the freedom fighters that Gaddafi was hiding in the tube,' said Mr Jibril.

'So they went there and they brought him out and they were taking him to that truck to take him to a field hospital.

'On their way they got in crossfire between the freedom fighters and the security brigades. He was shot in the head. We don't know whether he was shot by the freedom fighters or the security brigades.'

Undignified end: Gaddafi's head is turned slightly to the left. There are suggestions that this has been done to hide a bullet hole in his skull

Paraded: Bystanders watch over Gaddafi's body as it lies in a storage freezer in Misrata

His body is currently on show in a meat locker next to his dead son Mutassim. However, rebels have pointed away part of his skull in an apparent attempt to hide a bullet hole.

One senior figure among the fighters in Misrata said that he was ashamed of the way one man broke the news of Gaddafi's death to his daughter, Aisha, who happened to call him on a mobile phone minutes after he was shot.

'Aisha called and one of the revolutionaries answered her,' the commander said. 'He said: ''It's over. Abu Shafshufa died''.'

Using a nickname derived from Gaddafi's distinctive long ringlets he said that 'Old Fuzzhead' had been an affront to decency.

Aisha, her mother and two of her brothers fled to Algeria after the fall of Tripoli. Aisha gave birth on the day she arrived. The government in Algiers angered the NTC by refusing to send them back.

But an Algerian newspaper on Saturday quoted official sources saying that, following the death of the head of the family, they might now reconsider.

In a statement on a Syria-based pro-Gaddafi television station, the ousted dictator's family asked for the bodies of Gaddafi, his son Mo'tassim, and others: 'We call on the UN, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International to force the Transitional Council to hand over the martyrs' bodies to our tribe in Sirte and to allow them to perform their burial ceremony in accordance with Islamic customs and rules,' the statement said.

Colonel Gaddafi’s widow has backed international demands yesterday for an inquiry into his killing.

Rebel fighters apparently executed the wounded dictator having captured him alive.

As celebrations over the death of the 69-year-old tyrant continued throughout Libya, officials of the ruling National Transitional Council were forced to delay his secret burial for further examination of his battered body.

One of the rebels who said he took part in the capture said Gaddafi was shot and wounded at the last minute by one of his own men.

Injured: Blood pours from a wound above Gaddafi's left temple as the rebels hurl insults at him. 'Shut up, dog', is how the stubborn tyrant responds

Final hiding place: The inside of a concrete tunnel into which Gaddafi and a small number of body guards crawled into once their convoy had been hit

No escape now: Gaddafi is surrounded by rebels waving AK-47s and walked across the barren desert. His left arm has been wounded, possibly when his convoy of 80 jeeps was hit by air raids

Stumbling: Rapidly losing strength, Gaddafi falls to the floor as rebels kick stones up at him

Trying to wriggle away. Even with facing imminent defeat, the tyrant launches another rambling diatribe in an attempt to free himself

'One of Muammar Gaddafi's guards shot him in the chest,' said Omran Jouma Shawan.

Both the United Nations and Amnesty International called for investigations into the death, a call echoed by Gaddafi’s widow, Safia, from her exile in neighbouring Algeria.

Syrian TV quoted her as calling on the UN to investigate and saying she was proud of the courage shown by her husband and children.

In a statement, the ousted dictator's family asked for the bodies of Gaddafi, his son Mutassim, and others who were killed on Thursday by fighters who overran his hometown Sirte.

'We call on the UN, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International to force the [National] Transitional Council to hand over the martyrs' bodies to our tribe in Sirte and to allow them to perform their burial ceremony in accordance with Islamic customs and rules,' the statement said.

TV reports in Dubai and Jordan claimed yesterday that Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha called her father’s mobile phone after seeing reports in Algeria that he had been captured.

The phone was answered by fighters. Aisha screamed at them and called them ‘rats’.

While few mourned the deaths, the growing row cast a shadow over the celebrations with NTC officials and fighters telling differing stories. Some denied that Gaddafi had been executed and claimed instead that he was shot in a firefight after his arrest.

But one NTC minister in the Libyan capital Tripoli told the Mail yesterday that officials had been saying for weeks that Gaddafi would be shot if cornered – a claim at odds with the official rebel line.

‘He took their blood – they had to take his,’ the senior minister said. ‘We couldn’t have stopped them even if we had tried. It was their due after seeing their brothers killed.’

Rupert Colville, a UN human rights spokesman, said: ‘There seem to be four or five different versions of how he died.

‘If you take these videos together, they are rather disturbing because you see someone who has been captured alive and then you see the same person dead.

The shooting has raised unwanted questions about the ability of the new leadership to control the men with guns, as well as causing discomfort for Western allies about respect for justice and human rights among those who claimed to be fighting for just those ideals.

A series of graphic videos apparently taken on mobile phones clearly shows Gaddafi alive after being pulled from a concrete sewer in his home city of Sirte on Thursday morning, being manhandled by NTC fighters and then his dead body being dragged along a pavement.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the NTC had promised to explain how Gaddafi was killed.

'They're dealing with the death itself as well as the aftermath in as transparent a way as I think they can,' he said.

'They've fought bravely to liberate their country from this dictator. And, you know, he met an ignominious end yesterday.'

Gaddafi’s son Mutassim, who commanded the defence of Sirte, was also killed after capture.

Yesterday his body, scarred by numerous cigarette burns, was laid out beside his father’s in a makeshift mortuary at an old meat store in the coastal city of Misrata.

Gaddafi's widow, Safia, left, has called for the UN to launch an inquiry into her husband's death. His daughter, Ayesha, right, called her father's mobile phone but it was answered by rebels

Parties of the past: Gaddafi cuddles a young relative as wife Safia, centre, son Mutassim, and another female family member look on

‘We feel that it is very important that there is a serious investigation into what caused his death.’

Libya’s Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, reading what he said was a post-mortem report, stated that Gaddafi was hauled unresisting from the sewer pipe, shot in the arm and put in a truck which was ‘caught in crossfire’ as it ferried him to hospital.

Dr Ibrahim Tika, who examined the bodies in Misrata yesterday, said: ‘There was a bullet and that was the primary reason for his death, it penetrated his gut . . . then there was another bullet that went in and out of his head.’

The medical evidence appears to support the claims of fighters involved in Gaddafi’s capture who said in the immediate aftermath that he had been shot in the stomach.

Fear on his face after being captured in his home town of Sirte, this is Gaddafi in the moments leading up to his death

Final moments: A dazed Gaddafi gesticulates as rebels parade him through Sirte shortly before he was shot

Grimacing in pain: A still from a video taken from the mobile phone of a rebel fighter shows Gaddafi, his face covered in blood, being dragged around by freedom fighters

Losing blood: Gaddafi lifts a hand to his face to see the blood pouring from his wounds. The mobile phone footage shows the dictator slumped against a jeep but still alive

UN officials said an investigation would need to examine the ‘wealth’ of video footage which showed a crowd of fighters shoving and pulling the balding Gaddafi, blood splattered on his face and soaking his shirt after he was dragged from the pipe.

Gaddafi could be seen struggling against them, stumbling and shouting as the fighters pushed him on to the bonnet of a truck. One fighter held him down, pressing on his thigh with a pair of shoes in a show of contempt.

Fighters propped him on the hood as they drove for several moments, apparently to parade him around in victory.

‘We want him alive,’ one man shouted before Gaddafi was hauled off the bonnet, some fighters pulling his hair, towards an ambulance.

The controversy delayed the burial which under Islamic custom is meant to take place within 24 hours of death.

Celebration: Mohammed al-Bibi, seen here in a Yankees hat, points to a comrade holding Gaddafi's golden gun. Al-Bibi is the one who found the despot in his final hiding place and duly claimed the war souvenir

Ghouls snap history on a camera phone

For 42 years his image adorned virtually every propaganda billboard in Libya.

Yesterday young Libyans queued for a final, ghoulish picture of Colonel Gaddafi’s bloated, blood-streaked body.

Grinning teenagers crouched next to the grey-tinged corpse and posed for photographs, many raising their hands in the ‘Victory’ symbol. The photos have already been sent around the world on social networking websites.

Gruesome spectacle: NTC men gather around Gaddafi's body, taking pictures with their phones and flashing V for victory signs

The young men who posed for the bizarre pictures have never known a Libya without Gaddafi, and have grown up surrounded by giant propaganda images of the ‘Brother Leader’.

They became the driving force behind the revolution, many of them taking up arms after learning about the wider Arab Spring from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Yesterday they came face to face with the ultimate symbol of that revolution, the battered, blood-stained corpse of the ousted tyrant.

Gaddafi’s body was taken to the coastal city of Misrata, the scene of some of the fiercest resistance to the Gaddafi regime.

Stripped to the waist, the corpse was placed on a plastic-wrapped yellow mattress in a former meat store, now a room-sized commercial freezer in a shopping centre.

Bullet wounds were clearly visible on his temple and stomach, and deep scratches were etched into his chest – marks of his violent end at the hands of a lynch mob in his birthplace, Sirte.

Rebel commander Adull-Salam Eleiwa said Gaddafi’s remains would be treated with respect and buried as quickly as possible.

Libyan authorities must agree on a secret location for Gaddafi’s grave, so that it will not become a rallying point for his loyalists.

The death has effectively brought to an end the Nato operation in Libya. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday that the Western alliance had taken a preliminary decision to call a halt to Operation Unified Protector on October 31.

Like other Western officials, Rasmussen expressed no regrets in public about the gruesome death of the deposed Libyan dictator, who was captured alive by the forces of the National Transitional Council but was brought dead to a hospital.

'We mounted a complex operation with unprecedented speed and conducted it with the greatest of care,' Rasmussen said. 'I'm very proud of what we have achieved.'

Air patrols are set to continue over Libya during the next 10 days as a "precautionary measure" to ensure the stability of the new regime.

They will gradually be reduced in coming days if there are no further outbreaks of fighting with forces loyal to the ousted dictator.

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