* Gaddafi captured, killed as hometown of Sirte overrun--NTC
* Gaddafi was initially wounded in both legs, official says
* Fighter says Gaddafi hiding in hole, shouted "Don't shoot"
By Rania El Gamal and Tim Gaynor
SIRTE, Libya, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died
of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an
eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte,
Libya's interim rulers said.
His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most
dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated
rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders
of Syria and Yemen.
"He (Gaddafi) was also hit in his head," National Transitional Council
official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. "There was a lot of firing against
his group and he died."
Mlegta told Reuters earlier that Gaddafi, who was in his late 60s, was
captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in
a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked. He said he had been taken away by an
There was no independent confirmation of his remarks.
An anti-Gaddafi fighter said Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the
ground and had said "Don't shoot, don't shoot" to the men who grabbed him.
His capture followed within minutes of the fall of Sirte, a development that
extinguished the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the deposed
The capture of Sirte and the death of Gaddafi means Libya's ruling NTC
should now begin the task of forging a new democratic system which it had
said it would get under way after the city, built as a showpiece for
Gaddafi's rule, had fallen.
Gaddafi, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of ordering
the killing of civilians, was toppled by rebel forces on Aug. 23 after 42
years of one-man rule over the oil-producing North African state.
NTC fighters hoisted the red, black and green national flag above a large
utilities building in the centre of a newly-captured Sirte neighbourhood and
celebratory gunfire broke out among their ecstatic and relieved comrades.
Hundreds of NTC troops had surrounded the Mediterranean coastal town for
weeks in a chaotic struggle that killed and wounded scores of the besieging
forces and an unknown number of defenders.
NTC fighters said there were a large number of corpses inside the last
redoubts of the Gaddafi troops. It was not immediately possible to verify
that information. (Writing by Jon Hemming and William Maclean; Editing by
C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved
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Received on Thu Oct 20 2011 - 09:16:25 EDT