By a Newsnet reporter
Libyans are reported to be celebrating tonight at the news that former dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been shot dead. Confirmation of the death followed earlier reports that the former dictator had been captured after being wounded in a firefight.
However the country’s interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has now confirmed that the former dictator was killed by rebel soldiers.
Speaking to a news conference in the capital Tripoli, the leader of the National Transitional Council said: “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” He then added: “Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”
Reports suggest that Gaddafi pled for his life after being found hiding in a drain close to the city of Sirte. He was armed with two golden pistols and an automatic weapon. Celebrating NTC soldiers were pictured holding aloft the golden pistol.
Two of his sons are also believed to have died alongside the dictator. However third son, Saif al-Islam, is thought to be still at large, although unconfirmed reports suggest a convoy he is travelling with has come under attack.
Video footgage and still images are being circulated amongst NTC fighters and apparently show the bloodied corpse of Gaddafi being dragged through the streets as onlookers cheer.
The death of Muammar Gaddafi is the singlemost dramatic outcome of the ‘Arab Spring’ that has also seen the removal of another dictator, Hosni Mubarak, of Egypt. Attention will now focus on ensuring the country of Libya does not descend into chaos, and the next few months will prove crucial in establishing a genuinely open, free and democratically elected government.
Mr Jibril called for a new, united Libya.
“We confirm that all the evils, plus Gaddafi, have vanished from this beloved country.
I think it’s for the Libyans to realise that it’s time to start a new Libya, a united Libya, one people, one future,” he said.
Newsnet Scotland comment:
Few will mourn the passing of one of the world’s most notorious dictators. Gaddafi was portrayed by the west as a pantomime villain, but for many Libyan’s he represented something much more sinister. Like Saddam Hussein he has now been removed and, sadly, his victims have been denied the opportunity of seeing him stand trial for his crimes.
Equally sadly, early signs are that some of the media in the UK are maneouvering in order to once again shift focus onto the issue of the release of the man known as the Lockerbie Bomber, Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi. One of the first casualties of the release of Mr Megrahi was the truth and in Scotland the matter was politicised to the extent that many news outlets found themselves incapable of providing objective journalism.
Already this evening the BBC are running the line that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s desert deal with Gaddafi was about weapons of mass distruction and nothing to do with oil, Mr Blair’s secret meeting led to the infamous Prisoner Transfer Agreement involving a then healthy Megrahi. BBC Radio Scotland is also allowing to be broadcast suggestions that the Scottish government were at one with the last Labour government in seeking close relations with the Gaddafi regime.
We will monitor the media coverage in Scotland with interest.