Disturbing video captures Qaddafi's last moments; Update: Libyan rebel leader claims Qaddafi was killed in the, er, crossfire

Well, I guess this answers the question from earlier today as to whether Moammar Qaddafi was killed in an exchange of gunfire or as a prisoner of the former rebels. Assuming this footage is authentic, we see a bloodied but clearly alive Qaddafi, still recognizable despite the beating he has taken, trying to walk while in the grasp of his captors. The chaotic footage shows the mob trying to get at Qaddafi with their bare hands, with Qaddafi unable to resist, before the camera swings away towards fighters celebrating by shooting their weapons in the air.  Be sure to watch it now, if you want to at all, because it may not last long on YouTube (WARNING — graphic images):

This footage doesn’t exactly square with all of the explanations from this morning:

Early Thursday morning, reports started emerging out of Libya that former strongman Moammar Gadhafi had been killed in a NATO-led airstrike. Later in the day, opposition National Transitional Council leader and interim government prime minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil confirmed reports of Gadhafi’s death, according to the Associated Press. NATO and the White House have yet to independently confirm the reports.

The NTC information minister told Reuters, “He was killed in an attack by the fighters. There is footage of that.” If the news is confirmed, the episode would make Gadhafi the first leader killed as a result of the Arab Spring uprisings, the Associated Press notes in its obituary of the leader, which it published at 10:53 EST.

Yahoo has some footage of the spot where the rebels seized Qaddafi, which looks like the same man and at least a similar crowd as in the clip above.

Technically, if the rebel forces represent the government, this would be a war crime, but I doubt anyone will gripe too much about a summary execution of a brutal dictator.  This is, after all, the traditional end for tyrants, from Julius Caesar to Benito Mussolini.  The rebels have to get more serious about discipline, however, because a mob army may end up turning on the leaders that replace the tyrants as well as the tyrants themselves.

Update (Allahpundit): It’s unclear from the clip whether they ended up executing him or whether he simply keeled over from the injuries he’d already sustained. But if you have the stomach for it, scroll down to the Telegraph’s 18:25 update for a photo of what looks like Qaddafi on the slab. He has a bullet hole in his left temple.

Update (Allahpundit): There’s no way his last words were, “What did I ever do to you?” He simply couldn’t have been that oblivious.

Update (Allahpundit): If you missed it in Headlines earlier, here’s footage apparently taken shortly after he was executed. Oddly, his face looks relatively clean here compared to the bloody mess in the video Ed posted up top. Also oddly, we now have video of the moments before and moments after the killing — but none of the killing itself. One would think that would have been the most prized among Libyan rebels.

Update (Allahpundit): Really, guys? Every news channel in the world is airing footage of Qaddafi being dragged off the back of a pick-up truck by shrieking rebels and this is the storyline they’re sticking with?

Moammar Gadhafi was killed in the crossfire of a battle between his supporters and fighters loyal to the opposition that topped the dictator’s regime, Libya’s interim prime minister told NPR this afternoon.

“Nobody can tell if the [fatal] shot was from the rebel fighters or from his own security guard,” Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel…

According to Jibril, Gadhafi “did not show any resistance” at first. But as “freedom fighters” were taking him into custody, “he came under crossfire from both sides.”

Gadhafi was not executed by the fighters who captured him, Jibril told Robert.

So that video I posted of rebels whooping it up while Qaddafi was bleeding into the ground was actually recorded while they were … taking heavy fire from Qaddafi loyalists? Alrighty then.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on March 31, 2023