Al Jazeera and Libyan state television are reporting that the Libyan dictator has been killed during a gunbattle in Sirte. A senior National Transitional Council official, Abdel Majid, told Reuters by telephone that Gaddafi has died of wounds suffered during his capture in Sirte. Reuters reports that he was wounded in both legs as he “tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.”
The U.S. State Department has not confirmed Colonel Gaddafi’s capture or death. ““The State Department cannot at this time confirm media reports on the capture or killing of Muammar Qadhafi,” spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, according to Politico.
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The Misrata Military Council, one of multiple command groups for revolutionary forces, says its fighters captured Gadhafi in Sirte. Another commander, Abdel-Basit Haroun, says Gadhafi was killed when an airstrike hit a convoy trying to flee.
Despite conflicting reports regarding whether Gaddafi has been killed or captured, in Tripoli, celebrations are already underway with gunfire and honking. “We’ve heard quite a lot of celebratory gunfire,” Caroline Hawley reports for the BBC.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Libya on Tuesday to offer a new aid package. She told students during a gathering in Tripoli, “We hope [Gaddafi] can be captured or killed soon so that you don’t have to fear him any longer.”
Gaddafi was ousted from power in August, and his whereabouts have been unknown for months. The Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, accused Libya’s former ruler of crimes against humanity.
Reuters is also reporting that an official from the National Transitional Council, Libya’s interim government, has confirmed the death of Abu Bakr Yunis Jabr, Gaddafi’s Minister of Defense.