Muammar Gaddafi, his son Muatassim and a top aide’s dead bodies have been removed from the cold storage and buried in secret in the desert.
According to a National Transitional Council (NTC) official, the bodies were buried at dawn in an unknown location.
This follows days of apparent uncertainty among the new leadership about what to do with the bodies.
Muammar Gaddafi’s dead body has been removed from the cold storage and buried in secret in the desert
Muammar Gaddafi’s family wanted the bodies to be buried outside the former leader’s hometown of Sirte.
But, NTC officials had expressed a preference for a secret burial.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that it received confirmation in a text from a military council official in Misrata that the burial took place at a secret location at 05:00 local time.
It also reported that a few relatives and officials were in attendance as Islamic prayers were read over the bodies.
Reuters news agency reported that Muammar Gaddafi would be buried in a “simple” ceremony with “sheikhs attending” on Tuesday.
“It will be an unknown location in the open desert,” said an NTC official speaking to Reuters, adding that a burial was needed because decomposition of the body had reached the point where the “corpse cannot last any longer”.
According to some witnesses, the bodies of the three men were removed overnight from the cold storage warehouse in Misrata where they had been on display. Prayers were said over the bodies before they were driven away.
A security guard at the warehouse, Salem al Mohandes, told the Arabic television station al-Jazeera.
“Our job is finished.”
“[Gaddafi] was transferred and the military council of Misrata took him away to an unknown location. I don’t know whether they buried him or not.”
Islamic tradition dictates a burial should happen within a day of the death.
But the NTC leadership was concerned that any public grave could become a shrine for Muammar Gaddafi loyalists or as a target of hatred for those who opposed his regime.
In the end, the decomposition of the body meant the NTC had to act.
Questions have been raised over Gaddafi’s death after video footage showed him alive at the time of capture in Sirte on Thursday. NTC officials said he had been killed subsequently in a cross fire.
According to autopsy report from Sunday, Muammar Gaddafi had received a bullet wound to the head.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the acting Libyan leader, said the NTC had formed a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.
Muammar Gaddafi’s will was published on a loyalist website, Seven Day News, as the debate continued over what to do with his body.
Colonel Gaddafi’s will appeared to be a short one and is said to be one of three copies given to relatives, one of whom was killed, one arrested and one managed to escape the fighting in Sirte, where he was killed.
The former Libyan dictator said in his will: “I call on my supporters to continue the resistance, and fight any foreign aggressor against Libya, today, tomorrow and always.”
Muammar Gaddafi apparently made it clear he had decided to die in Libya rather than flee, telling his supporters: “Let the free people of the world know that we could have bargained over and sold out our cause in return for a personal secure and stable life.”
“We received many offers to this effect but we chose to be at the vanguard of the confrontation as a badge of duty and honour.”
Gaddafi’s dead body is currently in a refrigerated vegetable warehouse in Misurata where crowds, who suffered some of the worst attacks by dictator’s forces, are queuing to catch site of the dead dictator
The dictator asked to be buried, clothed as he died, with his body unwashed, in a graveyard in his home town of Sirte, not far from where he was killed as he fled the city on Thursday.
Gaddafi’s dead body is currently in a refrigerated vegetable warehouse in Misurata where crowds, who suffered some of the worst attacks by dictator’s forces, are queuing to catch site of the dead dictator.
Muammar Gaddafi also called for his family to be treated “well” adding that the Libyan people should protect their “heroes.”
Reports said that Gaddafi’s body will be handed over to his remaining relatives after tribal leaders backed calls for his corpse to be given a traditional Muslim burial.
Tribal honour underpins much of the country’s public life and the demand will prove to be a big test for the country’s new government because the Gaddafi tribe has benefited enormously from the 42-year dictatorship of the Libyan strongman.
The Libyan new regime will not want an obvious shrine in Sirte, although the National Transitional Council (NTC) indicated Muammar Gaddafi’s surviving relatives would have a say in what happened to his body.
An NTC official, Ahmed Jibril, said:
“The decision has been taken to hand him over to his extended family, because none of his immediate family is present at this moment.”
“The NTC are in consultation with his family. It is for his family to decide where Gaddafi will be buried, in consultation with the NTC.”
The new Libyan authorities had originally wanted the body to be buried in an unmarked grave in the desert. However, they ran into resistance from the Masrata militias who had captured him and who did not want the responsibility for burying the dead leader.
Muammar Gaddafi’s widow Saifa had issued a statement demanding that the body is turned over to his family.
Muammar Gaddafi has reportedly been killed in his hometown of Sirte. (Photo by AFP)
UPDATE: The NTC have confirmed the death of Muammar Gaddafi
“He [Gaddafi] was also hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”
Al Arabia reported 45min ago (via twitter) that the corpse of Muammar Gaddafi arrived in Misrata.
Libyan interim authorities fighters captured Muammar Gaddafi’s home city on Thursday, extinguishing the final substantial holdout of resistance by troops loyal towards the deposed leader and ending a two-month siege.
The seize of Sirte indicates Libya’s ruling Nationwide Transitional Council (NTC) ought to now start the job forging a brand new democratic program which it had stated it might begin following the town, constructed like a showpiece for Gaddafi’s rule, had fallen.
Information reviews had been conflicting on whether or not Gaddafi was arrested.
At first, Libyan Television channels circulated reviews the embattled leader himself was arrested.
Other reviews stated the corpse of Gaddafi had arrived in Misrata.
A senior NTC army official stated that Gaddafi died of wounds endured in his seize close to his hometown of Sirte.
NTC official Abdel Majid Mlegta informed Reuters previously that Gaddafi was captured and wounded in each legs at dawn on Thursday as he attempted to flee inside a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.
The Libyan authorities also stated that Gaddafi was hiding inside a hole in Sirte, shouting “don’t shoot, don’t shoot.”
There had been reviews also by Reuters that Gaddafi’s son, Mutassim, and his intelligence head, Abdullah al-Sinosi and had been arrested.
The U.S. State Division on Thursday stated it couldn’t verify that deposed Gaddafi was captured and wounded in each legs.
“We’ve seen the media reports but can’t confirm them,” State Division spokeswoman Beth Gosselin informed Reuters.
A pro-Gaddafi tv web site denied Thursday reviews the strongman had been killed or captured.
“The reports peddled by the lackeys of NATO about the capture or death of the brother leader, Muammar Gaddafi, is baseless,” stated Al-Libiya tv. Gaddafi “is in good health,” they added.
But Holland’s prime minister stated that Gaddafi was captured.
Meanwhile, Libyan NTC fighters stated that they had been arresting previous Libyan officials and medics stated that Gaddafi’s protection minister, Abu Bakr Yunis, was lifeless.
A Libyan transitional forces commander stated Moussa Ibrahim, previous spokesman for Gaddafi’s fallen authorities, was captured close to the town of Sirte.
A group of some forty automobiles carrying Gaddafi forces had damaged out with the metropolis and had headed west, NTC fighters stated.
“The Gaddafi people broke out west, but the revolutionaries have them surrounded and are dealing with them,” said one of the fighters, Abdul Salam Mohammad.
Reporters in the scene watched because the last assault started about eight a.m. and ended about ninety minutes later on. Just prior to the assault, about 5 carloads of loyalists attempted to flee the enclave down the coastal highway but had been satisfied by gunfire in the revolutionaries, who killed a minimum of twenty of them.
Meanwhile, the troops didn’t permit reporters to enter the positions previously held from the Gaddafi loyalists because they stated mopping up functions had been nonetheless underway.
“Our forces control the last neighborhood in Sirte,” Hassan Draoua, a member of Libya’s interim National Transitional Council, told The Associated Press in Tripoli after Sirte’s fall. “The city has been liberated.”
A minimum of sixteen pro-Gaddafi fighters had been captured, together with numerous instances of ammunition and trucks loaded with weapons. Reporters noticed the fighters beating captured Gaddafi males within the back again of trucks and officers intervening to quit them.
Muammar Gaddafi dead body picture published by Al Jazeera
Commanders for Libya’s transitional authorities say they have captured rebel leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.
These news reports came right after the transitional forces regained control of the city Sirte, Col Gaddafi’s birthplace, after many weeks of ongoing battles.
The colonel was brought down in August after 42 years in commanding power. The International Criminal Court is waiting for his arrest.
“He’s captured. He’s wounded in both legs,” National Transitional Council (NTC) official Abdel Majid told Reuters news agency.
“He’s been taken away by ambulance.” AFP news agency quoted another NTC official, Mohamed Leith, as saying that Col Gaddafi had been captured in Sirte and was “seriously wounded” but still breathing.