MISRATA, Libya, Sunday
A death report of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s fallen leader who was captured and killed by National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters on Thursday in his hometown of Sirte, has shown that he died of bullet injuries.
The report provided by Libya’s justice department today said that Gaddafi’s death was caused by a shot to the left-side of his head and another to the abdomen.
The report added that there were scars of old surgeries on both the left and right sides of Gaddafi’s abdomen as well as in his left thigh.
Gaddafi’s body is still on display for civilians in Misrata, a town in the middle between Sirte and the capital Tripoli, as the NTC is scheduled to announce the “liberation” of the country in a couple of hours in Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya.
Meanwhile, the National Transitional Council vice chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga today announced Libya “liberated”, at a huge rally in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the uprising against Moamer Kadhafi was launched eight months ago.
“Declaration of Liberation. Raise your head high. You are a free Libyan,” he said.
Tens of thousands of voices echoed him chanting, “You are a free Libyan.”
“The libyan people confirm their respect for international law... (their determination to respect) mutual interest and cooperation with all countries, particularly Libya’s neighbours,” Ghoga said.
“We are entering a new phase, one which asks more responsibility from all of us. May long live the revolution. May long live Libya.”
Gaddafi’s capture and death from gunshot wounds in the Mediterranean city of Sirte came after the fall of Tripoli at the end of August, since when his whereabouts were unknown.
The National Transitional Council, dismissing charges he was executed, insists the fugitive former leader was caught in crossfire between new and old regime fighters.
The new Libyan authorities originally said Libya’s so-called “Guide” would be buried in a secret place to prevent any kind of pilgrimage to his grave in the future. But on Sunday they announced that Gaddafi’s remains would be returned to his extended family.
Meanwhile, Britain’s new Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said today that the reputation of Libya’s new leaders had been “stained” by the killing of Gaddafi .
Mr Hammond urged an investigation into the death of Gaddafi. “It’s certainly not the way we do things, it’s not the way we would have liked it to have happened,” he told BBC television.
“We would have liked to see Colonel Gaddafi going on trial, ideally at the International Criminal Court, to answer for his misdeeds not only in Libya but of course the many acts of terrorism that he supported and perpetrated outside Libya, of which we in Britain have a disproportionately large number of victims.
“The fledgling Libyan government will understand that its reputation in the international community is a little bit stained by what happened.
“I’m sure that it will want to get to the bottom of it in a way that rebuilds and cleanses that reputation.”
Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) has said that an interim government would be formed within one month of the declaration that the conflict is over. (Xinhua, AFP)