Gaddafi is dead

Rebels in Libya are celebrating the death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi after he was found and killed yesterday

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi came to a humiliating end yesterday at the hands of rebel fighters who claim they shot him in the head after he pleaded for his life.

The dictator was hauled from his hiding place in a sewer by fighters waving guns before the 69 year-old tyrant was thrown on to a jeep bonnet.

In Sirte, ecstatic rebels celebrated the city’s fall after weeks of bloody siege by firing endless rounds into the sky. The Libyan leader’s death closes a chapter in the Nato-led military campaign to help rebel forces remove him from power.

Since the fall of Tripoli in August, the hunt for Gaddafi has prevented rebels from claiming outright victory but today the French foreign minister, Alain Juppe – whose country’s planes are believed to have attacked Gaddafi’s convoy as it fled his hometown of Sirte – said that the operation is over.

‘I think we can say that the military operation is finished, that the whole of Libyan territory is under the control of the National Transitional Council and that the Nato operation has arrived at its end,’ he says.

Despite the jubilation it is still unclear exactly how Colonel Gaddafi met his end. Shakily filmed footage shows a dazed but conscious Gaddafi being dragged off the bonnet of a vehicle but it is not sure whether the dictator died from crossfire wounds or a gunshot to the head.

Amnesty International has urged the NTC to carry out a full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish the circumstances of Gaddafi’s death.

Speaking in Islamabad, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton says the death has brought an end to an unfortunate chapter of Libya’s history.

‘It also marks the start of a new era for the Libyan people, and it is our hope that what I saw in Tripoli on Tuesday first hand, the eagerness of Libyans to building a new democracy, can begin in earnest,’ she says.

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