리비아를 42년 동안 철권통치한 독재자 무아마르 카다피가 사망했다고 리비아 과도국가위원회(NTC)가 20일 발표했다. 리비아는 8월 권좌에서 축출된 후 자취를 감췄던 카다피가 사망한 것으로 밝혀지면서 국가 재건에 더욱 박차를 가할 수 있게 됐다.
AP통신 등 외신은 마무드 지브릴 NTC 총리가 카다피의 사망을 공식 확인했다고 일제히 보도했다. 지브릴 총리는 트리폴리에서 가진 기자회견에서 "우리는 이 순간을 오랫동안 기다려왔다"며 "카다피는 사망했다"고 발표했다. 마무드 샤맘 NTC 정보장관도 시민군으로부터 카다피의 시신을 목격했다는 소식을 들었다고 덧붙였다. 미 국무부 관계자는 "카다피 사망을 공식 확인할 수는 없지만 각종 정보들로 볼 때 그가 사망한 것 같다"고 CNN에 말했다.
외신에 따르면 카다피는 20일 오전 고향 시르테에서 시민군의 공격을 피해 도망치다 사망했지만 숨어있는 장소에서 끌려 나와 사살됐는지 아니면 교전 도중 숨졌는지 정확한 사망 경위는 알려지지 않고 있다. AFP통신은 심하게 다쳐 피 흘리는 남자의 사진을 공개하며 이 사람이 카다피라고 소개했다. 알자지라 방송은 얼굴에 피가 흥건한 채 바닥에 누워있는 카다피의 동영상을 내보냈다. 이날 시민군의 공격으로 카다피의 4남 무타심과 카다피군 전 국방장관 아부 바크르 유니스도 사망했다.
카다피를 체포했다고 주장하는 NTC의 한 군인은 BBC와 인터뷰에서 부상당한 카다피가 붙잡힌 순간 "쏘지마"라고 말했다고 전했다. 이 군인은 당시 카다피가 카키색 복장에 터번을 머리에 두르고 구덩이에 혼자 숨어 있었다고 말했다.
로이터통신은 카다피의 사망은 이집트와 튀니지의 독재자 축출에 이어 '아랍의 봄' 혁명에서 가장 극적인 성과라고 평가하면서 시리아와 예멘 지도자들이 큰 위협을 느낄 것이라고 보도했다.
알자지라 방송은 카다피의 시신이 시르테에서 서쪽으로 250㎞ 떨어진 미스라타의 한 이슬람 사원으로 옮겨졌다고 전했다. 카다피의 사망 소식이 전해지자 트리폴리, 벵가지 등의 시민들이 거리로 몰려나와 경적을 울리고 총을 하늘로 쏘면서 환호했다.
Revolutionary fighters celebrate the capture of Sirte, Oct. 20. Officials in Libya's transitional government said Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, the last major bastion of resistance.
Residents celebrate at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli Oct. 20, after hearing the news that Gadhafi was killed in Sirte.
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Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters carry a young man holding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of Moammar Gadhafi in Sirte, Oct. 20.
Libyans wave their new national flag as they celebrate in the streets of Tripoli following news of Moammar Gadhafi's capture, Oct. 20.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte on Thursday, Oct. 20. Libyan interim government fighters captured Moammar Gadhafi's home town, extinguishing the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the deposed leader and ending a two-month siege.
A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter looks through a large concrete pipe in Sirte where ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was allegedly captured, as a dead loyalist gunmen lies nearby, Oct. 20. Arabic graffiti in blue reads: "This is the place of Kadhafi, the rat.. God is the greatest."
An image from a fighter's cellular phone camera shows the arrest of Libya's former leader, Moammar Gadhafi in Sirte on Oct. 20. The Libyan government is reporting that Gadhafi has died.
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Libyan rebel fighters fire their machine guns toward loyalist positions in Sirte, Oct. 19. Libyan revolutionary forces fought building by building Wednesday against the final pocket of resistance.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters walk up the stairway in a house belonging to one of Moammar Gadhafi's family members in the city of Sirte, Oct. 19.
A Libyan fighter fires ammunition at Moammar Gadhafi loyalists during a battle to liberate the city of Sirte, Libya, on Oct. 18.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flashes the "V" sign for Victory as she stands alongside Libyan fighters loyal to the National Transitional Council on Oct. 18. Clinton was in Tripoli as part of a one day visit to Libya.
Libyan fighters run across the street under heavy sniper fire, while carrying Bangladeshi children who were trapped in Sirte, Libya, on Oct. 17. The children had been trapped during the entire siege of the city.
A musician, who had joined anti-Gadhafi fighters on the front line, strums his guitar while being helped by doctors after he got injured during fighting with Gadhafi loyalists in Sirte on Oct. 15.
Residents look through their belongings at their home in Sirte on Oct. 15. Many residents returned to Sirte after fleeing the war between National Transitional Council fighters and Moammar Gadhafi loyalists, only to find their homes destroyed and looted during the fighting.
Libyan fighters take cover from Gadhafi loyalist sniper fire during a battle to liberate the city of Sirte on Oct. 13.
Libyan fighters fire at pro-Gadhafi forces during a battle to liberate the city of Sirte on Oct. 13.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters take cover during fighting against Gadhafi loyalists at the frontline in Sirte on Oct. 13.
A Gadhafi loyalist is captured by anti-Gadhafi fighters during fighting in the center of Sirte on Oct. 13.
A Libyan nurse prepares medication for a patient at the Al-Zawiya hospital in Tripoli on Oct. 13. Battling with a shortage of almost everything, from medicines to specialized doctors, the hospital is set in an old Italian-era building and lives up to its standard of high quality health care despite the difficult times in the Libyan capital since the ouster of Moammer Gadhafi.
A Libyan girl walks past pro-revolution graffiti in Tripoli on Oct. 12.
Libyan rebels carry an injured comrade, holding his pistol, after he was wounded during the battle to liberate the city of Sirte, Libya on Oct. 12.
A fighter loyal to the Transitional National Council fires his weapon during fighting in the town of Sirte on Oct. 12.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters show off gold cutlery that was seized at the home of Moammar Gadhafi's daughter Aisha in Sirte, Oct 12.
Rebel fighters attack pro-Moammar Gadhafi forces in downtown Sirte on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Rebel forces have besieged Sirte since mid-September and are facing fierce resistance from loyalists while fighting street by street inside the hometown of Libya's ousted leader.
Fighters of Libya's new regime gather around the body of a comrade who was killed by friendly fire at the police headquarters in Sirte, which they seized following battles with loyalist troops in the city on Oct. 11.
Students of the University of Tripoli, formerly known as al-Fateh University, and ordinary Libyans crowd the courtyard of the Faculty of Science during an open day of fundraising ahead of the start of the new academic year, in Tripoli on Oct. 10.
An anti-Gadhafi fighter lays down heavy fire from an apartment window to suppress Gadhafi snipers as rebel forces push forward towards the centre of Sirte on Oct. 10. The apartment was used to house foreign visitors during Gadhafi's reign.
Rebel forces fire their weapons at pro-Gadhafi fighters as one of their comrades plays a guitar during a battle in Sirte on Oct. 10.
Medics treat an injured anti-Gadhafi fighter. He was wounded in clashes with Gadhafi loyalists in Sirte on Oct. 10.
Rebels fire a rocket as they enter Sirte on Oct. 10.
A hat that belonged to a member of Gadhafi's forces is seen on the ground amidst spent bullet cartridges during heavy clashes against anti-Gadhafi forces outside the State Security compound in Sirte on Oct. 9.
National Transitional Council fighters wait for their commander to arrive before they rush an area of Sirte on Oct. 9.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters walk inside a hall of the Ouagadougou conference center which was destroyed by heavy artillery fire as they take control of the building known for hosting regional meetings for Arab and African leaders in Sirte, Oct. 9.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters take cover as others fire a tank some 200 meters from Sirte University, in Sirte, Oct. 9. Libyan transitional government forces said on Sunday they had captured a university and a conference centre in Moammar Gadhafi's hometown, but were holding off an assault on the main square to let civilians escape.
National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters take part in a street battle in the 700 complex area of Sirte on Oct. 8.
A Libyan revolutionary fighter runs for cover while attacking pro-Gadhafi forces in Sirte, Libya on Oct. 7.
Libyan revolutionary fighters attack pro-Gadhafi forces in Sirte, Libya on Oct. 7.
A fighter for the new Libyan government is supported outside a field hospital near the front line of Sirte on Friday, Oct. 7. The hometown of overthrown dictator Moammar Gadhafi was rocked by deadly street fighting in what the troops from the new regime said was the final assault
Anti-Gadhafi fighters take cover during a street battle in Sirte on Oct. 7.
A girl attends Friday prayers at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli, LIbya's capital, on Oct. 7.
A Libyan man relaxes in the vapor room of the Darguth Turkish bath, or Hammam, in Tripoli's old city on Oct. 6.
Libyan revolutionary fighters load munitions during an attack on Sirte on Oct. 5.
Military aircraft of deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi lie destroyed at the airport in Sirte on Oct. 6.
A fighter for Libya's new government sports a bullet-riddled helmet he found close to the front line outside the desert city of Bani Walid Oct. 5.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters destroy Sirte's eastern gate on Oct. 5
Families displaced from Sirte flee while passing through Ashreen Gate, east of Sirte, on Oct. 5.
Medical and militia officials in Tripoli display a corpse exhumed from a site they identified as a mass grave containing some 200 bodies on Oct. 5. Officials said the site contains the bodies of people buried just before the fall of Moammar Gadhafi's capital in August.
Anti-Gadhafi troops celebrate during a graduation ceremony for newly trained fighters in Tripoli on Oct. 4.
An elderly Libyan man walks by a depiction in Tripoli of Gadhafi and Arabic that reads "The craziest man in the world."
A wounded fighter for the new government waits for treatement at a makeshift dressing station in a mosque near Sirte on Oct. 3. Doctors were using the mosque to triage rebel fighters wounded in the battle for Sirte, which is Moammar Gadhafi's hometown.
A woman waits in an International Red Cross vehicle, as a convoy gets ready to drive towards the besieged town of Sirte on Oct. 3.
U.S. citizen Matthew VanDyke, right, is seen at the eastern front of the city of Sirte on Oct. 2. VanDyke, from Baltimore, was held by Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Tripoli's dreaded Abu Salim prison for nearly six months before he escaped in August to join the Libyan rebellion.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters run for cover from incoming shelling by pro-Gadhafi forces during clashes around the entrance of Sirte on Oct. 2.
Internally displaced Libyans show their documents to a revolutionary fighter while fleeing from the city of Sirte on Oct. 2.
Internally displaced Libyans flee from the city of Sirte during a brief lull in the fighting Oct. 2.
Libyan Jewish exile David Gerbi prays inside Dar Bishi synagogue in Tripoli on Oct. 1. Gerbi and his family fled Tripoli in 1967 when an Arab-Israeli war stoked anger against the Jewish state and led to attacks on Jews in his neighborhood. Gadhafi expelled the rest of Libya's 38,000 Jews two years later and confiscated their assets. Most Tripoli synagogues have since been destroyed or converted to mosques.