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Timeline of reported capture of Gadhafi

Thursday, October 20, 2011 | 8:36 a.m. CDT; updated 11:31 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 20, 2011

The hometown of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi fell today as the last vestige of control for the man once hailed as the "king of kings of Africa" came to an end. And officials in the transitional government said Gadhafi, who has been in hiding since rebels seized control of Tripoli, was captured or killed.

Here's a running account of the day's developments. All times are local in Libya, which is seven hours ahead of Central Standard Time.

11:05 a.m.

Gadhafi's hometown, Sirte, has fallen to the rebels. A reporter in the city said Libyan fighters are searching homes and buildings looking for any Gadhafi loyalists who might be hiding. 

11:35 a.m.

"The city has been liberated," said Hassan Draoua, a member of Libya's interim government. The Libyan fighters were seen beating captured Gadhafi men in the back of trucks, with officers trying to stop them.

12:36 p.m.

Discarded military uniforms of Gadhafi's forces are in the streets. One fighter climbed a traffic light, kissed the revolution's flag then unfurled it.

2:09 p.m.

Libyan officials and NATO said they can't confirm reports that Gadhafi was captured or killed today when his hometown fell.

2:14 p.m.

White House officials are monitoring the reports of Gadhafi's capture and death but said they can't confirm anything. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was just in Libya yesterday and said then she hoped for his demise. She also offered U.S. aid to the interim government.

2:44 p.m.

NATO confirms it's hit a convoy of Gadhafi loyalists fleeing Sirte, and Libyan fighters said they captured the ousted leader.

2:54 p.m.

A spokesman for Libya's transitional government said Gadhafi has been captured and possibly killed in the fall of his hometown. Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam said he expects the prime minister to make an announcement in an hour or so. Past reports of Gadhafi's death or capture have been wrong.

3:04 p.m.

In Sirte, fighters who have battled for months to seize control of the country from Gadhafi's forces embraced in the streets and chanted. "The war, it's finished," one fighter said.

3:16 p.m.

A Libyan fighter told The Associated Press he was there when Gadhafi was shot with a 9 mm gun in the lower body. Standing in front of a truck with a crowd of congratulatory comrades, he said he struck the former dictator with his shoe — a grave insult in the Arab world — waving the footwear in question for emphasis.


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