Monday, October 24, 2011

how did Gadhafi end up dead, If he was captured alive?

The death of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi helped solidify the National Transitional Council's power in Libya, but there is still a large amount of uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding how he was killed, what happened during the last battle in Sirte and what it all means for the future of Libya.

When Gadhafi's death was first reported, it came with a large amount of uncertainty.

Multiple scenarios emerged as to how the last minutes of his life played out, thanks to cell phone pictures and videos, many later uploaded to YouTube. Then, there were statements from officials from NATO, from within Libya and from the National Transitional Council about what happened.

And as the country prepares to move on, the international community searches for answers as to exactly what happened in the minutes after Gadhafi was captured.

What exactly do we know about how Gadhafi was captured?

We know that the events leading to Gadhafi's death began about 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Libya, according to a NATO official, when a convoy of loyalists made a break from a part of Sirte and headed west, trying to get out of the city.

Gadhafi had long been suspected of being holed up in his hometown, which was one of the only remaining regime strongholds.

U.S. drones and French fighter jets struck the convoy, splitting it up and forcing the loyalists to scurry away on foot.  A NATO official said Gadhafi was in that convoy, though he was not hit.

Gadhafi fled with a handful of his men. The revolutionaries found him hiding in a drainage pipe.

Mahmoud Jibril, Executive Chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council, said that after Gadhafi was found, a gunbattle erupted between transitional council fighters and Gadhafi's supporters. His captors attempted to load him into a vehicle, leaving Gadhafi with a wound to his right arm.

Video out of Sirte showed what appeared to be a heavily wounded and bloodied Gadhafi being held up by NTC fighters as they took him toward a vehicle.

What happened after that is more murky.

What do we know about how Gadhafi died?

When Gadhafi was captured, he was, by all accounts, alive.

Several videos from the scene showed Gadhafi looking wounded and confused but alive and even walking as he was pulled toward a vehicle.

Jibril said Gadhafi was shot in the arm as he was dragged into a vehicle headed to Misrata, a two-and-a-half-hour trip.

But the autopsy report from the chief pathologist said Gadhafi died of a gunshot wound to the head.

So how did Gadhafi go from being captured to being shot in the head?

It depends on whom you ask, and there are many details that simply are not confirmed.

Leaders of Libya's interim government have said Gadhafi was killed in that crossfire after fighters captured him in Sirte.

But videos and pictures coming out of Libya lead to more questions about what shot may have killed the leader.

Some members of the international community had hoped there would be some more clarity from the autopsy report.  But the doctor who conducted the examination would not disclose whether findings revealed that he suffered the wound in crossfire or at close range, a key question that has prompted the United Nations and international human rights groups to call for an investigation into the final moments of Gadhafi's life.

Jibril, the transitional prime minister, said that as the vehicle carrying the wounded Gadhafi drove away, more shooting erupted, and that was when Gadhafi was shot in the head.

Mohammed Sayeh, a senior member of the council, said that in the hail of gunfire, Gadhafi was shot in the feet and then in his head.

"I cannot tell you whether it was from far or near, but it was unintentional," he said. "No one decided to kill him or slaughter him. It would have been much better for us Libyans and the whole universe to capture him and take him to a court."

But in a new video from Reuters, a man standing next to an ambulance claims he killed the ousted leader, and another man claims he saw it happen. The group surrounding him applauds and hugs the self-described gunman.

There were no more specifics given about the fatal shot.

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