Categorized | International, News

Gadhafi begged for his life in last minutes

By Martin Gould and Michelle Lopata

Deceased former President of Libya Moammar Gadhafi

As dawn broke in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte on Thursday, its most notorious inhabitant, Moammar Gadhafi must have known his chances of seeing the day out were slim at best.

NATO airstrikes and rebel ground forces combined to attack the last few buildings the country’s longtime leader still held west of the city’s central Green Square.

Gadhafi’s only way out was a risky one – to pile into a convoy of vehicles and try to make a break for it.

They didn’t get very far. Less than three miles out, the five vehicles carrying the man who had terrorized his country since the second year of Richard Nixon’s presidency, came under sustained fire, initially from a Hellfire missile and then from French fighter jets.

Gadhafi and his bodyguards desperately tried to turn back into the besieged city in which he was born in 1942, but it was a forlorn bid.

As the convoy became crippled the Mad Dog of the Desert made one final bid to save his life. He leaped from his car and into a 2ft. storm drain in Sirte’s District Two, on the far west of the city.

But he was soon spotted and dragged from his hiding place. Rebel soldiers say he begged for his life, urging them “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” but his pleas for mercy went unheeded.

The rebels killed him on the spot, shooting him once in the temple and in both legs. One of the soldiers tore off Gadhafi’s shoe and started beating his body across the head with it – a high insult in Arabic culture.

“There was a lot of firing against his group and he died,” said Abdel Majid Mlegta, an official with the National Transitional Council.

NTC defense spokesman Ahmed Bani confirmed it was rebels on the ground that dealt the final blow. “It was our courageous revolutionaries who have killed the tyrant and not NATO,” he said. NATO confirmed its planes had hit two military vehicles that were part of a larger group near Sirte.

Gadhafi’s death was captured on cellphones by his killers and a picture and later a video of the shirtless body being dragged along the ground were soon flying round the world.

Within minutes Arabic-language graffiti was spray in blue paint on the concrete drain, saying “This is the place where the rat Gadhafi was hiding,” and “Contemptible Gadhafi.”

Reports of his death soon started flying, but it took the U.S. State Department several hours finally to confirm that Gadhafi’s end had finally come. If the reports were true it would “add legitimacy and relief to the formation of a new government,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said shortly after landing in Pakistan.

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Archives

By Martin Gould and Michelle Lopata

Deceased former President of Libya Moammar Gadhafi

As dawn broke in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte on Thursday, its most notorious inhabitant, Moammar Gadhafi must have known his chances of seeing the day out were slim at best.

Insert Ads Here

NATO airstrikes and rebel ground forces combined to attack the last few buildings the country’s longtime leader still held west of the city’s central Green Square.

Gadhafi’s only way out was a risky one – to pile into a convoy of vehicles and try to make a break for it.

They didn’t get very far. Less than three miles out, the five vehicles carrying the man who had terrorized his country since the second year of Richard Nixon’s presidency, came under sustained fire, initially from a Hellfire missile and then from French fighter jets.

Gadhafi and his bodyguards desperately tried to turn back into the besieged city in which he was born in 1942, but it was a forlorn bid.

As the convoy became crippled the Mad Dog of the Desert made one final bid to save his life. He leaped from his car and into a 2ft. storm drain in Sirte’s District Two, on the far west of the city.

But he was soon spotted and dragged from his hiding place. Rebel soldiers say he begged for his life, urging them “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” but his pleas for mercy went unheeded.

The rebels killed him on the spot, shooting him once in the temple and in both legs. One of the soldiers tore off Gadhafi’s shoe and started beating his body across the head with it – a high insult in Arabic culture.

“There was a lot of firing against his group and he died,” said Abdel Majid Mlegta, an official with the National Transitional Council.

NTC defense spokesman Ahmed Bani confirmed it was rebels on the ground that dealt the final blow. “It was our courageous revolutionaries who have killed the tyrant and not NATO,” he said. NATO confirmed its planes had hit two military vehicles that were part of a larger group near Sirte.

Gadhafi’s death was captured on cellphones by his killers and a picture and later a video of the shirtless body being dragged along the ground were soon flying round the world.

Within minutes Arabic-language graffiti was spray in blue paint on the concrete drain, saying “This is the place where the rat Gadhafi was hiding,” and “Contemptible Gadhafi.”

Reports of his death soon started flying, but it took the U.S. State Department several hours finally to confirm that Gadhafi’s end had finally come. If the reports were true it would “add legitimacy and relief to the formation of a new government,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said shortly after landing in Pakistan.