Friday, October 21, 2011

Gaddafi... the end •How he was smoked out of a hole •Son, aide also killed

LIBYAN dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed, on Thursday, by the country’s National Transitional Council (NTC) rebels in his hometown, Sirte, alongside his son, Muatassim, and his defence minister, Aboubakre Younis Jabr.
Reports had it that Gaddafi was killed while escaping from his stronghold, Sirte, when the NTC fighters, led by former rebels said to be leading the attack from Misurata, approached him.
Gaddafi, who had been in hiding since the fall of Tripoli two months ago, decided to flee the country after NTC soldiers had almost captured his Sirte stronghold.
He was said to be running away in a convoy of 35 cars, including five armoured cars, but as the convoy moved out towards the East, it was attacked by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) aircraft.
The NATO bombing, it was said, allowed the rebels to move in and continue their attack in which the Libyan dictator was wounded.
Sources said he got out of his car disoriented and asked the rebels “what happened, what happened?”
Reports had it that he was hit in the stomach and head, and sustained injuries that led to his death.
Another account had it that he was captured in a concrete pipe hole and was later killed.
After life was snuffed out of him, his body was immediately transferred from Sirte to Misurata mosque, while Libyans all over the country celebrated his capture with chants of “God is Greatest,” while they reportedly fired celebratory shots in the air with their weapons.
The British Ministry of Defence in London confirmed that NATO warplanes attacked a convoy of vehicles fleeing Sirte on Thursday, with a spokesman saying: “The convoy was targeted on the basis that this was the last of the pro-Gaddafi forces fleeing Sirte.”
Reports of Gaddafi's capture followed the United States' Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit to Libya on Tuesday.
Then, Clinton expressed hope in Tripoli that Gaddafi would be captured or killed.
A photograph circulated on the web, on Thursday afternoon, said to have been taken with a mobile phone, showed Gaddafi heavily wounded with blood all over him, but the authenticity of the picture could not be confirmed.
However, a video clip monitored on Al Jazeera, after Gaddafi's death was announced, showed Gaddafi being dragged on the ground by his captors.
“Thank God they have caught this person. In one hour, Sirte was liberated," a fighter in the town told Al Jazeera.
Just as the news came that Gaddafi had been killed, another NTC commander said that former spokesman for Gaddafi's fallen government, Moussa Ibrahim, was also captured near Sirte.
The NTC Commander of the 11th Brigade, Abdul Hakim Al Jalil, also said he had seen the body of the chief of Gaddafi's armed forces, Abu Bakr Younus Jabr.
"I've seen him with my own eyes," he said and showed Reuters a picture of Jabr's body.
"Moussa Ibrahim was also captured and both of them were transferred to our operations room,” Jabr said.
Meanwhile in Benghazi, crowds gathered in the streets to start celebrating the reports of Gaddafi's death.
Reports had it that NTC fighters raised the new Libyan flag in the centre of Sirte on Thursday morning, and celebratory gunfires and car horns replaced the sniper fire and heavy weaponry that had sounded through the city for weeks.
Gaddafi's son, Muatassim, was said to be among those fighting in Sirte, where NTC fighters conducted a house to house search of the last areas of his father's resistance.
It is now believed that the declaration of victory in Sirte is expected to set in motion a series of political moves leading to elections, a new government and a new constitution, a massive undertaking in a country that has had 40 years of arbitrary one-man rule.
“I think today is a day to remember all of Colonel Qadhafi’s victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan Semtex.
"We should also remember the many, many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.
"People in Libya today have an even greater chance, after this news, of building themselves a strong and democratic future.
"I’m proud of the role that Britain has played in helping them to bring that about and I pay tribute to the bravery of the Libyans who have helped to liberate their country.
"We will help them, we will work with them and that is what I want to say today.”
Gaddafi’s many ‘sins’
Muammar Gaddafi was a strong advocate against Western ideologies, and for this, he supported militant organisations that led anti-Western activities around the world.

During his reign, Foreign Minister of Libya called the killing of Western allies “heroic acts.” Gaddafi fuelled a number of Islamist and communist militant groups in the Philippines, including the New People’s Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
In Indonesia, the Organisasi Papua Merdeka was a Libyan backed militant group. Vanuatu’s ruling party also enjoyed Libyan support. In Australia Gaddafi attempted to radicalise Australian Aborigines known as Left-Wing Unions and Arab Australians, against the “imperialist” government of Australia.
In New Zealand he financed the Workers Revolutionary Party and attempted to radicalise a group known as Maoris. In 1979, Gaddafi said he supported the Iranian Revolution.
Gaddafi explicitly stated that he would kill Libyan dissidents that had escaped from Libya, raising tensions with refugee countries and European governments. In 1985 he stated that he would continue to support the Red Army Faction, the Red Brigades, and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as long as European countries supported anti-Gaddafi Libyans.
In 1976, after a series of attacks by the Provisional IRA, Gaddafi announced that “the bombs which are convulsing Britain and breaking its spirit are the bombs of Libyan people.
We have sent them to the Irish revolutionaries so that the British will pay the price for their past deeds.”In April, 1984, some Libyan refugees in London protested the execution of two dissidents. Libyan diplomats shot at 11 people and killed a British policewoman, Yvonne Fletcher. The incident led to the cessation of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Libya for over a decade.
In June, 1984, Gaddafi asserted that he wanted his agents to assassinate dissident refugees even when they were on pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca and, in August that year, a Libyan plot in Mecca was thwarted by Saudi Arabian police.
On April 5, 1986 Libyan agents bombed “La Belle” nightclub in West Berlin, killing three and injuring 229. Gaddafi’s plan was intercepted by Western intelligence and more detailed information was retrieved some years later from Stasi archives. Libyan agents who had carried out the operation, from the Libyan embassy in East Germany, were prosecuted by the reunited Germany in the 1990s.
Following the 1986 bombing of Libya, Gaddafi intensified his support for anti-American government organizations. He financed the Nation of Islam, which emerged as one of the leading organizations receiving assistance from Libya; and Al-Rukn, in their emergence as an indigenous anti-American armed revolutionary movement.
Members of Al-Rukn were arrested in 1986 for preparing to conduct strikes on behalf of Libya, including blowing up U.S. government buildings and bringing down an airplane; the Al-Rukn defendants were convicted in 1987 of “offering to commit bombings and assassinations on United States soil for Libyan payment.”
In 1986, Libyan state television announced that Libya was training suicide squads to attack American and European interests. He began financing the IRA again in 1986, to retaliate against the British for harbouring American fighter planes.
In February 2011, following revolutions in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia, protests against Gaddafi’s rule began. These escalated into an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi named the National Transitional Council (NTC).
Life and times of Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi was born in 1942, the son of a Bedouin herdsman, in a tent near Sirte on the Mediterranean coast. He abandoned a geography course at university for a military career that included a short spell at a British army signals school.
He took power in a bloodless military coup in 1969 when he toppled King Idriss, and in the 1970s he formulated his 'Third Universal Theory', a middle road between communism and capitalism, as laid out in his Green Book.
He oversaw the rapid development of Libya, which was previously known for little more than oil wells and deserts where huge tank battles took place in World War Two. The economy is now paying the price of war and sanctions.
One of his first tasks on taking power was to build up the armed forces, but he also spent billions of dollars of oil income on improving living standards, making him popular with the low-paid.
Gaddafi poured money into giant projects such as a steel plant in the town of Misrata - the scene of bitter fighting - and the Great Man-Made River, a scheme to pipe water from desert wells to coastal communities.
Gaddafi embraced the pan-Arabism of the late Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and tried without success to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria into a federation. A similar attempt to join Libya and Tunisia ended in acrimony.
In 1977 he changed the country's name to the Great Socialist Popular Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (State of the Masses).
For much of his rule he was shunned by the West, which accused him of links to terrorism and revolutionary movements. He was particularly reviled after the 1988 Pan Am airliner bombing over Lockerbie, by Libyan agents in which 270 people were killed.