Thursday, October 20, 2011

AFRICA: LIBYA: GADDAFI KILLED BY REBELS AND SON CAPTURED

A. NEWS REPORT: The prime minister of the transitional government confirms the news. In Tripoli, thousands celebrate by firing int the air. A Libya-based Italian businesswoman deplores the huge loss of life. The situation in hospitals is grim as drugs are in short supply.

Tripoli (AsiaNews) – Libyan rebels have taken Sirte and killed Muammar Gaddafi. Mahmud Jibril, prime minister in the Transitional National Council (TNC), and Abdelhakim Belhadj, NTC military chief, have confirmed the death of Libya's former strongman.

According to Libyan media, he was hiding in a hole in the ground and pleaded with the rebels not to shoot him. Until a few hours ago, the only evidence of his death was photo showing the Libyan leader lying in a pool of blood. Ahmed Ibrahim, Education minister in the old regime, and Mutassim Gaddafi, son and advisor to the fallen Libyan leader, were also arrested.

Hours before the official announcement was made, soldiers and civilians who had heard the news celebrated shooting in the air, lighting firecrackers, honking their horns and dancing in the streets of Libyan cities. “People are shooting in the air to celebrate Sirte’s capture and Gaddafi’s possible death,” said Tiziana Gamannossi, an Italian businesswoman living in Tripoli, who spoke to AsiaNews. “At the moment, the transitional government has not yet confirmed the news.”

Gaddafi’s last battle was quite bloody, she noted. “Tripoli hospitals are full of wounded coming in from Sirte, Sebha and Bani Walid, where nothing is working.”

“The Red Cross and Doctors without Borders are unable to cope with the volume. Money coming from the old regime is not enough to buy medicines. The only health care centres in operation are in the capital and they need everything, from drugs to gauze to dress the wounds.” (S.C.)

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