Gaddafi caught hiding like a 'rat'

2011-10-20 20:56

Sirte - Muammar Gaddafi called the rebels who rose up against his 42-years of one-man rule "rats", but in the end it was he who was captured cowering in a drainage pipe full of rubbish and filth.

"He called us rats, but look where we found him," said Ahmed Al Sahati, a 27-year-old government fighter, standing next to two stinking drainage pipes under a six-lane highway.

Government fighters, video evidence and the scenes of sheer carnage nearby told the story of the dictator's final hours.

Shortly before dawn prayers on Thursday, Gaddafi surrounded by a few dozen loyal bodyguards and accompanied by the head of his now non-existent army Abu Bakr Younis Jabr broke out of the two-month siege of Sirte and made a break for the west.

But they did not get far.

Nato said its aircraft struck military vehicles belonging to pro-Gaddafi forces near Sirte at about 08:30 (06:30 GMT) on Thursday, but the alliance said it was unsure whether the strikes had killed Gaddafi.

Fifteen pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns lay burnt out, smashed and smouldering next to an electricity sub station some 20m from the main road, about 3km west of Sirte.

They had clearly been hit by a force far beyond anything the motley army the former rebels have assembled during eight months of revolt to overthrow the once feared leader.

No bomb crater

But there was no bomb crater, indicating the strike may have been carried out by a helicopter gunship, or had been strafed by a fighter jet.

Inside the trucks still in their seats sat the charred skeletal remains of drivers and passengers killed instantly by the strike. Other bodies lay mutilated and contorted strewn in the grass. Some 50 bodies in all.

Gaddafi himself and a handful of his men escaped death and appeared to have run through a stand of trees towards the main road and hid in the two drainage pipes.

But a group of government fighters were on their tail.

"At first we fired at them with anti-aircraft guns, but it was no use," said Salem Bakeer, while being feted by his comrades near the road. "Then we went in on foot.

"One of Gaddafi's men came out waving his rifle in the air and shouting surrender, but as soon as he saw my face he started shooting at me," he told Reuters.

"Then I think Gaddafi must have told them to stop. 'My master is here, my master is here', he said, 'Muammar Gaddafi is here and he is wounded'," said Bakeer.

"We went in and brought Gaddafi out. He was saying 'what's wrong? What's wrong? What's going on?' Then we took him and put him in the car," Bakeer said.

Already wounded

At the time of capture, Gaddafi was already wounded with gunshots to his leg and to his back, Bakeer said.

Other government fighters who said they took part in Gaddafi's capture, separately confirmed Bakeer's version of events, though one said the man who ruled Libya for 42 years was shot and wounded at the last minute by one of his own men.

"One of Muammar Gaddafi's guards shot him in the chest," said Omran Jouma Shawan.

Army chief Jabr was also captured alive, Bakeer said. NTC officials later announced he was dead.

Fallen electricity cables partially covered the entrance to the pipes and the bodies of three men, apparently Gaddafi bodyguards lay at the entrance to one end, one in shorts probably due to a bandaged wound on his leg.

Four more bodies lay at the other end of the pipes. All black men, one had his brains blown out, another man had been decapitated, his dreadlocked head lying beside his torso.

Joyous government fighters fired their weapons in the air, shouted "Allahu Akbar" and posed for pictures. Others wrote graffiti on the concrete parapets of the highway.

Still clearly alive

"Gaddafi was captured here," said one simply.

From there Gaddafi was taken to the nearby city of Sirte where he and his dwindling band of die-hard supporters had made a last stand under a rain of missile and artillery fire in a desperate two-month siege.

Video footage showed Gaddafi, dazed and wounded, but still clearly alive and gesturing with his hands as he was dragged from a pick-up truck by a crowd of angry jostling group of government soldiers who hit him and pulled his hair.

He then appeared to fall to the ground and was enveloped by the crowd. NTC officials later announced Gaddafi had died of his wounds after capture.

  • Barry - 2011-10-20 21:03

    Courtesy of the western terrorist organizations of this world. Any one who even thinks what has happened here is good, needs to be educated in world politics. This is all about the west screwing the the country of Liyba and its people for their own gain. Nothing more.

      Michael - 2011-10-20 21:30

      Sad but probably close to the truth @Barry.

      piet.strydom - 2011-10-20 21:45

      And the previous 40 years of terror was just an imagination. The Pan-Am flight spontaneously disintegrated above Lockerbie? Get real.

      Burtfred - 2011-10-20 21:47

      So educate us then, poephol

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-20 21:50

      @Barry, you say the West, The Arab League was also involved, including Qatar & Turkey...are you naive or just stupid.

      Smell - 2011-10-20 22:16

      Barry you are deluded. NATO only became involved after Ghadafi started to use heavy weapons of war to kill his own defenseless people. Their sin - wanting democracy. Not even PW Botha used planes and tanks within the borders of RSA.

      Gibbaan - 2011-10-20 23:01

      Spot on Barry.Those in denial are blinded by the western media's propaganda. Why did NATO invade Libya and not Syria where there's also atrocities committed by Al Asad's forces against his people? OIL is the key word here.Haven't you learnt anything from the Iraqi invasion?

      Darryl - 2011-10-21 08:25

      I agree that the airstrikes on Gaddafi and his entourage sound pretty gruesome (cold blooded even) but how does the West benefit? Lets be honest, no-one can deny what this man was all about.

      1nawty0 - 2011-10-21 08:54

      Gaddaffi thought he was untouchable and got worse the older he got....! Gaddaffi & family still hiding TRILLIONS of dollars belonging to libya.! Gaddaffi turned on his own people with heavy weapons....!! Gaddaffi bought the African union and thought they will protect him...!! Gaddaffi deserved what he got.....!! all those that follow the same path of self enrichment at the cost of the people...... WATCH OUT!!!

      Khonzi - 2011-10-21 14:35

      Good point Barry!

  • George - 2011-10-20 21:09

    Died like the rat he was. Such a pity he wasn't bought to trial, found guilty and hanged! Now mugabe must b next.

      naeem.essop - 2011-10-20 23:02

      AMEN TO THAT. Mugabe must die.

      zaatheist - 2011-10-21 04:28

      Well they have the most sinister of the sons. They can put him on trial for the world (and friend Jacob) to see what murderous bastards the Gadaffi's were.

      Dirk - 2011-10-21 05:58

      Africa- One dictator gone, another to rise in his place? How long will it be before SA and southern Africa is engulfed by chaos? No country can endure the plunder which we see in SA indefinately without serious consequences.

      Charles - 2011-10-21 07:26

      Halleluja, George.

      Hafid - 2011-10-21 08:52

      mugabe won't be next has nothing to offer to the west.

  • PinkandProud - 2011-10-20 21:19

    Well done to the rag-tag army. The rat is dead :)

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-20 21:38

    Gaddafi begged for his life after being dragged from a drain.Wounded, weakened and covered in blood and dirt there was no way back for him.

      zaatheist - 2011-10-21 04:30

      He probably died a less painful death than his many tortured victims. Anyway, he got appropriate end.

  • Grant - 2011-10-20 21:44

    Thank goodness for Helen Zille and the DA! If the likes of Zuma, Mugabe etc had their way, Gaddafi would still be in power.

  • brettcch - 2011-10-20 22:14

    Clearly Gaddafi was a tyrant and caused a great deal of suffering to many innocent people, but just 2 questions: (a) how much do we know about the new power-holders and their agenda? (b) is this what we rejoice in?

      Myth - 2011-10-21 07:08

      The new power-holders are effectively the New Roman Empire. Watch that space.

  • Frank - 2011-10-20 22:44

    Also like to say to news24. "Your words are unjust"

  • bnyamane - 2011-10-20 23:05

    what happened to laurence kabila,happened to gaddafi.i hope nd wish that mogube nd malema change their attitudes before it's too late.

  • Madulla - 2011-10-20 23:10

    Go back to 29/3/2011 - "The league supported “revolutionary leaders” such as Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro and Gaddafi, Malema said." Malema, one of your idols has fallen and the other two are on their way out...... of this world..... that is!!

  • Eleck - 2011-10-20 23:23

    something is defenately wrong matter how wrong u have no no this is realy disturbing.gaddafi was alive when captured, then draged on the street and later can one die so quickly if shot in the stomach. the pictures shows blood in his head.i feel ppl pf lybia have been robbed fairness of facing gaddafi in court and if a person has commited crimes against humanity needs to be arrested and face music.i strongly condem the killing more specialy a person surrended,dragged and then killed like dog without accounting for the crimes he commited at the lybian court of law.lybia would have enjoyed freedom while gaddafi is in jail, so who will account to all this crimes?who will reveal all hiden secrets..this is not faire BUT oil, OIL ,oil will get sum 1 kiilled

  • Bokfan - 2011-10-21 10:47

    What is it with dictators and holes in the ground. Hitler died in one, Saddam hid in one, Gaddaffi was found in in one, Ceaucescu was shot in one and Malema is building one. Of course such pigtator behaviour always ends in tears

  • Ramadan - 2011-10-21 16:57

    hey people. Nato started the stike as we asked them to do so since Ghdafi started to use his heavy weapons commiting wide range of violence. People whatever i explain you will never imagine how bad was the situation there and how worest it would get if there were no help from Nato. We Know by the fact that NATO came also to Libya for their business, but we do not care ok, we prefer freedom, but not money. Some people they do not know how much we suffered from this dictatorship, some regret his death, but we sooooooooo happy that he died and died the way that we think he desirved it.

  • pages:
  • 1