It wouldn't be the first time that there has been wild rumors about the capture or death of a Khadafi or that early reports turned out to be mistaken. Yet, these reports seem to be getting confirmation from higher level officials. There's still no official word from the US State Department confirming Khadafi's capture or death, but these must be dark times for Khadafi's followers. AFP has a photo showing a bloodied Khadafi in custody.
The military official, Abdel Majid Mlegta, had told Reuters earlier that Gadhafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes had attacked.Khadafi's hometown Sirte has been overrun by the rebels, who have become the officially recognized government by world leaders. The Khadafi loyalists are on the run and continue to lose ground to the new Libyan National Transitional Council government. Khadafi was hit when his convoy was attacked by NATO aircraft.
"He was also hit in his head," said Mlegta. "There was a lot of firing against his group and he died."
Asked if there was photographic evidence to prove that Gadhafi was dead, Mlegta said: "We have the footage but it is not available now."
However, the AFP news agency provided a photograph that appeared to show a wounded or dead Gadhafi. The image has not been independently verified.
Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam told the AP that he had confirmed that Gadhafi was dead from fighters that said they saw the body.
While Khadafi's death would be a great relief to many Libyans, it is possible that the new government may face an ongoing period of insurgency by Khadafi loyalists who would seek retribution against the new government for being ousted from power.
Khadafi had long declared that he would never surrender and that appears to be the case.
It didn't have to be that way. Khadafi could have taken the golden parachute to despot exile, but instead chose to fight it out to stay in power. Now? He's got nothing except a spot in a box (whether it's a coffin or a holding cell is still yet to be known though I think he's due for a coffin fitting about now).
Who takes credit for the end of the Khadafi regime? First and foremost, it's the Libyan people. They were the ones who rose up against a despot who ruled with an iron fist for 42 years. They were the ones risking everything for a chance at a better tomorrow.
NATO helped, but it was the Libyan people who shed the blood and who died for their freedom. The President gets credit for authorizing US and NATO actions to support the Libyan rebels once they organized and became a credible entity to work with against Khadafi.
Anything else would be a misreading of history and the facts.
Khadafi was shot while trying to flee a house - not an airstrike as initially reported. One of his sons also killed:
Gadhafi's son, Mutassim, and his chief of intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, have been killed, according to Anees al-Sharif, spokesman for AbdelHakim Belhajj of the Tripoli military council.UPDATE:
This report comes on the day that Moammar Gadhafi has been killed.
[Update 10:36 a.m. ET] Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been killed, interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told reporters in Tripoli Thursday.
Video shows that Khadafi was alive when he was captured.