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Moammar Gadhafi death: UN human rights office wants probe

October 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The U.N. human rights office called for an investigation into the death of ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The 69-year-old was killed Thursday, two months after he was driven from power and forced into hiding.

There were conflicting reports about exactly how he died, but his final moments were caught on camera.

Libyan revolutionaries said they found him hiding in a drainage pipe in his hometown of Sirte. The official word is that Gadhafi died after being caught in the crossfire of a shootout following his capture. One of Gadhafi's sons, Muatassim, was also killed.

Many want to know if Gadhafi was killed in some sort of fighting or if he was executed after his capture.

Officials said Gadhafi's burial is being delayed until his death can be further examined and a decision is made about where to bury the body.

Bloody images of Gadhafi's last moments in the hands of angry captors have raised questions over his treatment minutes before his death.

Video on Arab television stations showed a crowd of fighters shoving and pulling the goateed, balding Gadhafi, with blood splattered on his face and soaking his shirt.

Gadhafi struggled against them, stumbling and shouting as the fighters pushed him onto the hood of a pickup truck. One fighter held him down, pressing on his thigh with a pair of shoes in a show of contempt.

The dictator's death thrusts Libya into a new age in which its transitional leaders must overcome deep divisions and rebuild nearly all its institutions from scratch to achieve dreams of democracy.

NATO officials are expected to meet Friday to decide how and when its seven-month-long campaign in the country will come to an end.

"We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council and that moment has now moved much closer. And now I called on all Libyans to put aside the differences to work together to build a brighter future," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rassmussen.

Celebrations over Gadhafi's death continued in Tripoli and around the world, but some would rather have seen him stand trial.

"Many Libyans were disappointed that he was not captured alive. However, we are kind of, in a way, saying this really puts an end to that era," said Idris Traina, president of the Libyan-American Association of Southern California.

Meantime, officials in Libya said the country's interim leader will formally declare liberation on Saturday in the city of Benghazi.

Watch ABC's Christiane Amanpour interview with Moammar Gadhafi from February 2011, his last known interview.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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