I woke up this morning to the news that the last Libyan stronghold of dictator Moammar Gaddafi had fallen and rebel troops were dancing in the street. A few minutes later the first reports came in that Gaddafi was dead - killed by either Libyan National Transitional Council forces or NATO troops - while other sources say the leader was captured alive.
Reuters reports that Gaddafi was fleeing the city in a convoy when NATO warplanes attacked.
"We've had no confirmation whether Gaddafi was in there or not," said a NATO official who spoke to The Post's Michael Birnbaum on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly. Over the past couple weeks in Sirte, the official said, "there was a sense that given the fight they were putting up, which was concerted, that they were protecting something important."
Thursday, the official said, "we saw a convoy coming out. It was tracked by NATO. There was a limited amount of engagement." The official said that forces under control of the Libyan National Transitional Council had also surrounded the area and were engaged in heavy exchanges of gunfire with the convoy.
"We've seen nothing coming out of that particular pocket" of Sirte "until today, so it was unusual," the official said. The official described what had come under attack as not a single convoy, but "a number of different packets of vehicles attempting to break through."
Other news stations are reporting that Gaddafi was shot after being pulled out of an underground hiding place ala Saddam Hussein. I'll update this post when his death or arrest is confirmed.
Rebel troops have released a photo of the supposedly slain Libyan dictator taken on a cell phone. Other sources say that the photo is of Gaddafi after being captured alive and before being taken away by rebel troops. Twitter lit up with users worldwide re-tweeting the photo. It's after the break [WARNING: Graphic photo].
UPDATE: American and Arab media are confirming that Gaddafi has been killed. The Libyan Prime Minister has also confirmed the news. Al-Jazeera has released a video showing the slain dictator laying in the street. Video is after the break [WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC]