The escape attempt was doomed: as the heavily armed convoy of Gaddafi loyalists sought to flee the besieged District 2 of Sirte, a NATO drone-fired missile hit it, destroying one vehicle, witnesses said. After traveling a few more hundred meters westward, the rest of the convoy came upon a Misrata-based militia and was then struck by airburst bombs fired from a NATO warplane, which incinerated dozens of Gaddafi fighters. While some of the survivors of the NATO attack engaged in a skirmish with the Misrata militiamen, Muammar Gaddafi and other survivors from the convoy fled to a nearby walled villa compound, and soon thereafter tried to escape through the fields and two drainage pipes underneath a major road nearby. That is where the Misrata militias caught them. This report presents evidence that Misrata-based militias, after capturing and disarming members of the Gaddafi convoy and bringing them under their total control, subjected them to brutal beatings before apparently executing dozens of them. Seven months later, Libyan authorities have neither investigated nor held accountable those who committed these crimes.
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The Capture and Death of Muammar Gaddafi Following the grenade explosion, groups of militia fighters immediately descended from the main road and captured the badly bleeding Muammar Gaddafi. The presence of Muammar Gaddafi in the fleeing convoy surprised the militia fighters, who, like most people in Sirte at the time, including a Human Rights Watch team, had no inkling that he had been present in Sirte until the moment of his capture.
As soon as the militia fighters had custody of Gaddafi, they began abusing him. Blood was already gushing from the shrapnel wound in his head. As he was being led onto the main road, a militiaman stabbed him in his anus with what appears to have been a bayonet, causing another rapidly bleeding wound.
In an interview with Human Rights Watch, Khalid Ahmed Raid, the commander of the Eastern Coast militia brigade of Misrata, which was based near the scene of the battle and capture, acknowledged that the situation with Muammar Gaddafi was out of control: One of the groups of rebels was sweeping the area when they found Gaddafi, who was accompanied by about 15 fighters.
One person from their group came out and asked for help, saying they had some wounded persons. Abu Bakr Younis was dying. Mansour Dhao survived, he was brought to our base alive, he walked on his own when he was brought here When we captured Gaddafi, the situation was a mess.
There were very many fighters around. He was alive when I saw him, so he must have been shot later, not when we saw him here. But it was a violent scene, he was put on the front of a pickup truck that tried to drive him away, and he fell off.
It was very confusing. People were pulling on his hair and hitting him. The militiamen ultimately put Muammar Gaddafi into an ambulance, and drove him away from the scene to Misrata in a massive convoy.
There, his body was displayed to the public. The exact circumstances of his death remain unclear: some militia fighters from Benghazi claim to have shot Gaddafi dead during a dispute with Misrata fighters about where to take him, but their claims remain unconfirmed.
Death of a dictator : bloody vengeance in Sirte
It presents evidence that Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed members of the Gaddafi convoy and, after bringing them under their total control, subjected them to brutal beatings. They then executed at least 66 captured members of the convoy at the nearby Mahari Hotel. Follow AllAfrica AllAfrica publishes around reports a day from more than news organizations and over other institutions and individuals , representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct. Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.
Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte
An estimated 66 captured members of the Gaddafi convoy were apparently executed at the site by opposition fighters. Human Rights Watch researchers visited the site on October 23, , and found the decomposing bodies of 53 apparent execution victims, all male, still at the scene. It presents evidence that Misrata-based militias captured and disarmed members of the Gaddafi convoy and, after bringing them under their total control, subjected them to brutal beatings. They then executed at least 66 captured members of the convoy at the nearby Mahari Hotel. Our findings call into question the assertion by Libyan authorities that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in crossfire, and not after his capture. Human Rights Watch used hospital morgue photos to establish that at least 17 of the detainees visible in the phone video were later executed at the Mahari Hotel. Under the laws of war, the killing of captured combatants is a war crime, and Libyan civilian and military authorities have an obligation to investigate war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law.