Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi addresses the United Nations General Assembly in September 2009.
After months of local turmoil and international military intervention, a major development has occurred that constitutes the end of an era in Libya, as official media in the North African nation reported Thursday that longtime leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi is dead. The New York Times brought word about the circumstances surrounding Gadhafi’s death, although some of those details were still hazy when the story went to print.
Update: CBS News compiled details of Gadhafi’s end later in the day. Be warned: The video footage on CBS’ page is highly graphic.
The New York Times:
Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan strongman who fled into hiding after rebels toppled his regime two months ago in the Arab Spring’s most tumultuous uprising, was killed Thursday as fighters battling the vestiges of his loyalist forces wrested control of his hometown of Surt, the interim government announced.
Al Jazeera television showed what it said was Colonel Qaddafi’s corpse lying on the ground, with a bloodied face, lifeless open eyes and an apparent gunshot wound to the side of the head, as jubilant fighters fired automatic weapons in the air. The images punctuated an emphatic and violent ending to his four decades as a ruthless and bombastic autocrat who had basked in his reputation as the self-styled king of kings of Africa.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Qaddafi has been killed,” Mahmoud Jibril, the prime minister of the interim government, told a news conference in Tripoli.