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Qaddafi Dies From Battle Wounds After Capture

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Muammar Qaddafi, whose rule lasted 42 years, died from battle wounds after being captured in his hometown of Sirte, ending a search for the deposed leader that began when he fled Tripoli in August, Libyan officials said.
“Years of tyranny and dictatorship have now been closed,” Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, National Transitional Council vice chairman, told reporters in Benghazi today. Libya’s liberation will be announced “within hours or soon” after the NTC makes sure there are no pockets of resistance left in Sirte, he said.
Broadcasters carried images from Libyan television showing what it said was Qaddafi’s body. Libyans waving flags and assault rifles poured into the streets of the capital, Tripoli, and other cities to celebrate his demise. Men held their children while fighters flashed victory signs and fired weapons into the air, as people danced to the new national anthem.
Qaddafi’s death comes as the NTC struggles to unite the factions that challenged his regime after protests in February were put down. They also must restore oil production in the North African country, home to the continent’s largest crude reserves, as they try to rebuild an economy scarred by eight months of fighting. As many as 40,000 of Qaddafi’s opponents were killed in the conflict, the NTC said today.
`Long, Difficult Road’
Qaddafi loyalists are unlikely to stop fighting immediately because they are now battling for their lives, Paul Sullivan, a North Africa expert at the Washington-based National Defense University, said in an interview.
“Libya has a long and difficult road ahead,” Sullivan said. “Libya is a country with massive resource wealth that has had most of the possible returns from that wealth frittered away by poor, mercurial and irrational leadership.”
President Barack Obama is being briefed on the situation in Libya and on reports that Qaddafi is dead, a U.S. administration official said. The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, declined to confirm reports from Libya that Qaddafi died or give details about what Obama was told.
The Misrata Military Council, whose troops led the assault on Sirte and act independently from NTC, said from the western city said that it would announce details of Qaddafi’s death in a news conference later today. It issued its statement as Ghoga spoke in the eastern city of Benghazi.
`Libya’s Future Begins’
“Today Libya’s future begins,” a top Libyan envoy to the U.K., Mahmud Nacua, said in London. “The people are looking forward to a very promising future.”
He said that about 40,000 members of the anti-Qaddafi forces died in the conflict. The uprising was part of the region’s so-called Arab Spring, which also unseated the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which began an air campaign against Qaddafi forces in March, said its planes struck two loyalist military vehicles that were part of a “larger group” near the Sirte. The alliance didn’t comment on Qaddafi’s death, saying only that its forces “don’t target individuals.”
“These armed vehicles were conducting military operations and presented a clear threat to civilians,” NATO’s operation spokesman, Colonel Roland Lavoie, said in an e-mailed statement. The strike took place at about 8:30 a.m. local time today, the alliance said.
Hiding Since August
The former leader had been in hiding since fleeing Tripoli at the end of August, issuing statements that he preferred to die a martyr. His loyalists massed in Sirte, strategically important because of its airport and harbor, and in Bani Walid.
Earlier today, Misratan forces said they had defeated the last of Qaddafi’s loyalists in Sirte, ending weeks of battles that erupted last month after talks on the town’s surrender broke down. The NTC has said that control of Sirte will begin an eight-month countdown to elections for a national council.
The interim government attributed the tenacity of loyalists in Sirte to the presence of senior Qaddafi aides, including one of his sons, Mutassim. The NTC also said another Qaddafi son, his presumed heir Saif al-Islam, was hiding in Bani Walid. Al Jazeera said Mutassim had been arrested today in Sirte.
About 17 of Qaddafi’s closest aides were captured in Sirte during the final battle, Nacua said.
Crude Output
Nuri Berruien, the chairman of Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp., said Qaddafi’s death will expedite the nation’s efforts to return to normal crude-output levels.
“A lot of things will return quickly after this good news,” he said today by mobile telephone from Libya.
Oil prices dipped at around noon London time on news of Qaddafi’s capture and injuries, before advancing later. Crude oil for November delivery fell $1.30 cents to $84.81 a barrel at 11:16 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Libyan oil output, which fell from 1.6 million barrels a day to zero during the uprising, may reach 600,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris.


One Comment on "Qaddafi Dies From Battle Wounds After Capture"

  1. DC on Thu, 20th Oct 2011 6:13 pm 

    Am I the only one to notice that whenever the US goes in assasinate leaders that want to sell there resources for something other than worthless US dollars, the oil output always tanks? A decade after the US invaded Iraq, they still hadnt produced as much as before the US showed up to ahh….liberate them. Going to be the same story in Libya. Production is gonna tank, and stay that way. Which, by a strange co-incidence, would help keep oil priced in US dollars higher, which in turn, benefits the US #1 vassal-state, Saudi-Arabia. SA buys lots of worthless high-end weapons systems from the US, but also, atm, needs a lot of cash to buy off its restless population. If the US were not meddling constantly there, the world would have more oil on the market, which which force prices downward. Again, low prices would hurt SA(badly) but would also have the interesting effect of making the Alberta Tar-sands less viable…

    The US does not want any ‘Arab Springs’ going on in SA. Not that the Spring has produced anything like democracy in the ME so far.

    Its pretty easy to manipulate the world when your in the oil business isnt it..

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