FORMER Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi has been killed in the final desperate battle for his home town of Sirte. From the Australian
I am certain that the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda will fill the void. I am also certain that things will get much worse in Libya.
The 69-year-old Gaddafi is the first leader to be killed in the Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings that swept the Middle East, demanding the end of autocratic rulers and greater democracy.
Gaddafi's son Mutassim was shot in the chest and killed. Confusion surrounds the fate of Gaddafi's favoured son, Saif al-Islam. Libyan state television said his son had suffered a similar fate, but other reports said he had been shot in the leg. This morning, Interpol and the International Criminal Court were still calling for Saif to surrender, sparking debate about his whereabouts.
Colonel Gaddafi was killed after being dragged from a drain by rebel fighters who had just won the battle for Sirte, Gaddafi's home town.
He had apparently been shot in the leg and the shoulder.
Looking bloodied, video images showed Gaddafi trying to flee his captors
He was transferred to a pickup truck, but was caught in crossfire and shot in the head, Libya's interim prime minister said.
"When the vehicle started moving, it was caught in crossfire between Gaddafi fighters and the revolutionaries, and he was shot in the head,'' according to Mahmoud Jibril.
"He was alive up to last moment, until he arrived at hospital'' in the town of Misrata.
People across Libya celebrated news of the death of Gaddafi who had brutally ruled Libya for 42 years.
News of Gaddafi's death was greeted with shock around the world US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, about to begin a television interview, was handed her mobile phone with the news sent as a text message on it.
"Wow!" she said.
Gaddafi had pledged to fight to the end and Saif al-Islam had vowed that "blood will flow" if rebels continued their fight both these statements proved to be true.
Saif al-Islam, educated at the London School of Economics, had long been groomed by Gaddafi as his eventual successor.
Gaddafi had been one of the world's most mercurial leaders, dominating Libya with a regime that often seemed run by his whims and bringing international condemnation and isolation on his country for years.
"We announce to the world that Gaddafi has been killed at the hands of the revolutionaries, and Gaddafi's tyranny and dictatorship has been finally ended for Libya and all the world and this chapter has been closed," National Transitional Council official Abdel Ghogha said at a news conference in Benghazi.
"[With] the news of the end of tyranny and dictatorship in Libya . . . it will never be the same again after the revolutionaries have been able to get to the heads of the tyrants . . . who met their fate and destiny, which is a fate and destiny of all dictators and tyrants," Mr Ghogha added.
"It is an historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Gaddafi has met his fate,'' he added.
He said that the fugitive despot's death been "confirmed by our commanders on the ground in Sirte, those who captured him after he had been wounded in the battle for Sirte".
"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," Mr Jibril told a news conference in the capital Tripoli.
Thousands of people were murdered or imprisoned during Gaddafi's rule.
Libya has great wealth through oil but much of this wealth has been taken by Gaddafi, his family and his cronies.
Gaddafi had been barricaded in with his heavily armed loyalists in the last few buildings they held in Sirte, furiously battling with revolutionary fighters closing in on them.
A convoy of about 80 vehicles tried to flee the area and was blasted by NATO airstrikes.
French Defence officials said one of its warplanes had identified and fired a warning shot across the convoy, but it was not destroyed.
A US Predator drone had struck the same convoy, however, it was unclear if deposed Gaddafi was there.
Television footage showed footage of Gaddafi lying severely wounded, bleeding from the head and stripped to the waist as fighters rolled him over on the pavement.
The body was then taken to the nearby city of Misrata, which Gaddafi's forces besieged for months in one of the bloodiest fronts of the civil war. Al-Arabiya TV showed footage of Gadhafi's bloodied body carried on the top of a vehicle surrounded by a large crowd chanting, "The blood of the martyrs will not go in vain."
The news sparked celebrations across the country, amid hope the dictator's demise was the final chapter in the nine-month conflict that has cost thousands of lives.
Gaddafi's last stronghold, Sirte, had earlier fallen to forces loyal to the NTC, which formed after the collapse of the Gaddafi's regime.
An anti-Gaddafi fighter said the former leader had been found hiding in a hole and shouted "Don't shoot, don't shoot" when confronted by fighters of the NTC.
The NTC said that Moussa Ibrahim, the man who became the face of the Gaddafi regime as his international spokesman, had also been captured in Sirte.
In Sirte, medics said the defence minister in Gaddafi's ousted regime, Abu Bakr Yunis, had been killed in the battle. Yunis's body was identified at the field hospital where it was brought in on a pick-up truck.
NTC fighters who had fought in the bloody conflict that toppled the veteran despot at a cost of more than 25,000 lives were jubilant at the news of his capture.
Pick-up trucks blaring out patriotic music criss-crossed the streets of Sirte, as fighters flashed V-for-victory signs and chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest).
Many pick-up trucks are playing the new national anthem and other revolutionary songs.
"Sirte is free. The whole of Libya is free," said Khaled Ballam, field commander of the February 17 Brigade, which took part in the final assault on Sirte.
"We had some clashes but there was no fierce resistance as many Gaddafi fighters were trying to escape rather than fight because they had no other option. The game is over."
Abdul Matlub Saleh, a fighter from the February 17 Brigade, said: "Every inch of the city is liberated. Our people are spread everywhere. There is no fighting. The gunfire that you are hearing is all celebrations."
An AFP correspondent heard sporadic gunfire in the neighbourhood during the morning as NTC fighters went house to house to root out the snipers who have inflicted heavy losses in their ranks in recent days.
Medics said that at least three NTC fighters were killed and 30 wounded in the operation.
"I am happy we have got revenge for our people who suffered for all these years and for those who were killed in the revolution. Gaddafi is finished," said fighter Talar al-Kashmi.
Further reading: Libya and the 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine.
There are many more links on R2P.
Oddly enough Soros' name may come up, but it was essentially drafted by Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister under a Labor Government, and Samantha Power, wife of Cass Sunstein. I am hearing alarm bells!