Who delivered the Gaddafi Coup de Grace
As I suggested on Thursday morning, wait to see the body before believing that Gaddafi is dead.
Well, here's the video. I won't embed it here - pretty graphic and you only get a couple of glimpses of a terrified Gaddafi being manhandled by the crowd. Then a couple of gun shots and a couple of glimpses of Gaddafi on the ground dead.
One thing is sure - the version of Gaddafi's death put out by the Libyan government is a crock.
Gaddafi was still alive when he was captured near Sirte. In the video, filmed by a bystander in the crowd and later aired on television, Gaddafi is shown being dragged off a vehicle's bonnet and pulled to the ground by his hair.
"Keep him alive, keep him alive!" someone shouts. Gunshots then ring out. The camera veers off.
"They captured him alive and while he was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed him," one senior source in the NTC told Reuters. "He might have been resisting."
In what appeared to contradict the events depicted in the video, Libya's ruling National Transitional Council said Gaddafi was killed when a gunfight broke out after his capture between his supporters and government fighters. He died from a bullet wound to the head, the prime minister said.
The NTC said no order had been given to kill him.
Gaddafi called the rebels who rose up against his 42 years of one-man rule "rats," but in the end it appeared that it was he who was captured cowering in a drainage pipe full of rubbish and filth.
"He called us rats, but look where we found him," said Ahmed Al Sahati, a 27-year-old government fighter, standing next to two stinking drainage pipes under a six-lane highway near Sirte.
Apparently, the dictator and a few dozen loyalists tried to make a break for it from Sirte and a NATO plane - probably French, got them while they were in the open. The scene, according to Reuters, was pretty gruesome with most of Gaddafi's people burned to death in their vehicles.
Fighters on the ground said Gaddafi and a handful of his men appeared to have run through a stand of trees and taken refuge in the two drainage pipes.
"At first we fired at them with anti-aircraft guns, but it was no use," said Salem Bakeer, while being feted by his comrades near the road. "Then we went in on foot.
"One of Gaddafi's men came out waving his rifle in the air and shouting surrender, but as soon as he saw my face he started shooting at me," he told Reuters.
"Then I think Gaddafi must have told them to stop. 'My master is here, my master is here', he said, 'Muammar Gaddafi is here and he is wounded'," said Bakeer.
"We went in and brought Gaddafi out. He was saying 'what's wrong? What's wrong? What's going on?'. Then we took him and put him in the car," Bakeer said.
At the time of his capture, Gaddafi was already wounded with gunshots to his leg and to his back, Bakeer said.
Other government fighters who said they took part in Gaddafi's capture, separately confirmed Bakeer's version of events, though one said the man who ruled Libya for 42 years was shot and wounded at the last minute by one of his own men.
So ends the rule of one of the strangest and most bizarre dictators of the 20th century. His death was rather ordinary compared to the life he led - a life full of bloodshed and oppression of the Libyan people and countless victims of terrorist attacks that in his bloodlust, he encouraged and became responsible for.