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Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in At TMV, International, Media, Politics, Society, War | 2 comments

Qaddafi: Reports that ‘They Got Him,’ Perhaps Killed Him (UPDATED)

As reported here at TMV and several other sources, including the BBC, commanders for Libya’s transitional authorities say they have captured a wounded Col Qaddafi after claiming control of Sirte, Qaddafi’s birthplace.

If true, this would come exactly two months after Libyan rebels captured the Libyan capital and overran Qaddafi’s fortified compound in Tripoli.

In a post reporting on the Libyan rebels “rolling into Tripoli” two months ago, I said, “I personally feel and hope that Qaddafi’s hours are numbered, but also hope that the rebels will show the residents of Tripoli the mercy Qaddafi and his troops never showed the rebels or the Libyan people.”

As it turns out, his hours were not numbered, nor his days, not even his weeks. Those who were hoping that it would be a matter of hours or days until the despot was captured or killed in battle have been repeatedly disappointed. But in the end, if the reports are correct, he has now been caught and that is what really matters.

At first it was thought that he might still be hiding in Tripoli, in some tunnel or bunker underneath the Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Then it was Sirte, Qaddafi’s birthplace, home to members of his own Qadhadfa tribe and a city hosting a major army garrison and a nearby air base nearby. However, Sirte was considered too obvious and risky hiding place— If the reports are correct, perhaps not.

How about Bani Walid, a city of some 50,000 people, 95 miles southeast of Tripoli, where Qaddafi is reputed to have a lot of support and which could provide an escape route across the desert.

Or Sabha, a desert town quite a ways south from Tripoli, also with many members of Qaddafi’s s Qadhadfa tribe. Being much farther to the South than Bani Walid, Sabha could offer better escape routes.

Then there was Ghadamis, close to both the Tunisian border and close to Algeria where it has been speculated that Qaddafi was seeking refuge and also a country where his wife and three of his children fled to at the end of August. However, Algeria’s foreign minister has said Algeria would not offer refuge to Qaddafi and Algeria’s President has said that his country would hand Col Gaddafi over to the ICC should he enter Algeria.

It had also been rumored that Qaddafi would seek refuge in some other African country such as Chad, Niger or Sudan. However, Chad has now recognized the National Transitional Council and Niger “has recently installed a civilian democracy after years of authoritarian rule, would be risking its reputation by taking him in.” Sudan under a leader also wanted by the ICC might take Qaddafi in, as “he would seem to have less to lose than most.”

The BBC:

Zimbabwe and South Africa had also been mentioned as possible destinations. But it would be hard for Col Gaddafi to escape undetected by air, and travelling to these countries by any other means would be perilous, not least because some of the nations en route are signed up to the ICC statute and would be obliged to arrest him.

But finally, finally “They Got Him,” in Sirte—his birthplace.

Source for quotes and for Col. Qaddafi’s possible whereabouts is the BBC’s “Libya conflict: Where could Muammar Gaddafi be hiding?

UPDATE:

Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has confirmed that former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is dead.

“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Moammar Gaddafi has been killed,” Jibril said at a news conference in Tripoli.

Read more here.

UPDATE:

Libyan state television reports that deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi has been killed. There has been no independent confirmation.

Read more here

UPDATE:

There are reports now that “Qaddafi has died of wounds suffered in his capture near his hometown of Sirte.”