How did Moammar Gadhafi die?
Reports were initially conflicting, but Gadhafi (Gaddafi) was killed on October 20, 2011 in cross-fire between rebels and loyalist fighters in Libya when the rebels in Gadhafi's birthplace of Sirt attempted to take the ousted colonel, who was wounded, to an ambulance. Libya's interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told TIME that Gadhafi, who was in hiding in a large sewer pipe in Sirt, did not resist arrest but was carrying a small pistol in his holster.
There was cross-fire and (Gadhafi) was shot while they were carrying him to a truck, Jibril told TIME, in a sit-down interview.
Jibril said Gadhafi was cornered while hiding in the sewage pipe. He said that as rebels closed in on the last bit of disputed territory in Sirt that Gadhafi was shot once in the arm and as fighters carried him to the ambulance, a fierce fire-fight broke out between the warring sides, wrote TIME, and Gadhafi was reportedly killed in that fire.
Jibril said Gadhafi was killed in the cross-fire and it was unknown which side fired the fatal shot. An autopsy report revealed that Gaddafi was wearing a wig.
That was a real surprise to me, said Jibril, the number two figure in the rebels' National Transitional Council.
Sirt is 230 miles east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast.
A day after his death, Gadhafi's blood-streaked body was stashed in a commercial freezer at a shopping center as Libyans try to keep it away from crowds as they figure out where and when to bury the hated leader, according to a report from MSNBC. Gadhafi's burial was delayed the day after his death after bloody images of his last moments raised questions over how exactly he died after being captured wounded, but alive.
An AP correspondent reported seeing Gadhafi's body the day after his death at the shopping center in the coastal city of Misrata. The correspondent reported that Gadhafi's body was stripped to the waist and wearing beige trousers, was laid on a bloodied mattress on the floor of a room-sized freezer where restaurants and stores in the center keep perishables. A bullet hole is visible on the left side of his head and in the center of his chest. Dried blood streaks his arms and head, according to MSNBC.
Gadhafi was the dictatorial ruler of Libya beginning in 1969, after he seized power in a bloodless military coup. He remained as the ruler of Libya until 2011 when his government was overthrown in a civil war that involved outside military involvement. The assets of Gadhafi and his family were frozen and the International Criminal Curt issued a warrant for the arrest of Gadhafi and family members for crimes against humanity.
His death made worldwide news, and became an Internet sensation, in part due to graphic pictures depicting him bloodied with a gunshot wound to the head.