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Friday
Oct212011

Details Surfacing on How Libyan Rebels Killed Moammar Gadhafi

Libyan National Transitional Council fighters stand outside drainage pipes where ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was captured. PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images(SIRTE, Libya) -- Celebrations continued across Libya the day after Moammar Gadhafi was killed by rebel forces in his hometown of Sirte, while details of the hours and minutes that led up to his death begin to surface.

Gadhafi's grisly final moments were captured on a grainy cellphone video that shows the former Libyan leader surrounded by a frenzied mob of rebels.  Men are seen grabbing at him, propping him up, and pummeling him while he can be seen dazed, attempting to speak and bleeding profusely.

The final hunt for Gadhafi began around 8 a.m. Thursday in Sirte, which is the former leader's hometown and was one of the final loyalist strongholds of his regime.  The rebels who took control of Libya in February began what they hoped would be their final offensive to conquer the town.

As the rebels toppled Sirte, a U.S. drone, which was operated remotely from Las Vegas, alerted NATO of a fleeing 80-car convoy.

Soon, French fighter jets responded with an airstrike, which took out two of the vehicles.  It is still unclear if these French fighters hit Gadhafi's car, but when the rebels poured in they told the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse that the former leader was hiding in a drainage pipe.

"They say they discovered him [in the drainage pipe] just before 12 this afternoon.  They pulled him out of the hole, and one fighter told me that Moammar Gadhafi said to him, 'What did I do to you?'" Gatehouse said.

This account of finding Gadhafi in the drainage pipe was confirmed by an English-speaking rebel fighter, who told ABC News, "We catch him there.  We shot him."

In a video that surfaced Friday, Gadhafi is heard repeatedly saying the phrase "Haram Aleiko," which is an Arabic expression that literally translated means, "This is a sin for you."  The phrase is generally used as a plea to convey the vulnerability of the victim.

The fatal shot that killed Ghadhafi was reportedly fired by a young man donning a baseball cap with a Yankees logo.  Afterwards he was photographed brandishing Gadhafi's vanquished golden gun.

Still unknown is the fate of Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam, who played a prominent role taunting rebels throughout the seven-month revolution.  There had been reports he had been captured or killed, but there were also reports that he was fleeing south in the Sahara Desert to Niger.

It has been confirmed that one of Gadhafi's other sons, Muatassim, was also killed in Thursday's attack.  He was a prominent military commander.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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