Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been killed while attempting to escape a seige on his hometown of Surt, the new regime said today.
"We confirm that all the evils, plus Gaddafi, have vanished from this beloved country," Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said in Tripoli.
Cellphone video footage of a bloodied body, said to be that of Gaddafi, was shown on Al Jeezera (the clip can be viewed on Reuters' website. Warning: graphic content). A second video, posted to YouTube, shows, by a New York Times account, "excited fighters hovering around his lifeless-looking body, posing for photographs and yanking his limp head up and down by the hair." (Again, viewer discretion advised.)
NATO jets took part in the raid, and reportedly struck vehicles near Surt.
A spokesman said officers had no idea who may have been in them. “It is not NATO policy to target specific individuals,” he said.
Reports indicate the vehicles were trying to breakout of the beseiged city.
Reuters said up to 15 pick-up trucks carrying Gaddafi, his bodyguards and others were destroyed in the Nato air-raid.
50 were killed in the strafing, but Gaddafi himself and several others escaped and ran to a stand of trees where they hid in sewerage pipes, where he was captured by forces loyal to the new government.
Video footage reportedly showed Gaddafi looking wounded and dazed. He is said to have had a gunshot wound to his back.
The clip shows Gaddafi disappearing into what Reuters called "an angry jostling group of government soldiers who hit him and pulled his hair."
Gaddafi later died from his wounds, the government said. There have been conflicting reports of his final moments (summarised by The New York Times here), with one accounting holding the former dictator was hit in the head by crossfire.
One of Gaddafi's sons, Mo'Tassim, was also killed in the raid, along with several senior Gaddafi-era officials, according to Libya's information minister.
Gaddafi, who has been in hiding for the past two months, led Libya for 42 years.