Officials in Libya say that longtime leader and target of the recent opposition movement Col. Muammer el-Gadhafi has been killed. Gadhafi had been in hiding for months after uprisings in his nation called for the end of his reign. Video and photographs of what appear to be Gadhafi 's dead body have also been released, according to Al Jazeera.
Reports about his death came quickly on Thursday morning. At press time, the claims had been confirmed by Libya's information minister as well as the nation's prime minister. Many are speculating that this will mark the end of the autocracy in Libya, as it is unlikely that his power will be passed on to another member of his family, according to CNN.
The grisly photo allegedly showing Gadhafi was taken on a cell phone by one of the rebel fighters. Spokesmen for the Libyan resistance say that the autocrat was wounded in both legs. They are claiming that he was found and killed after rebels took his hometown of Sirte following weeks of fighting.
Officials from the National Transitional Counsel (NTC) provided more details to Reuters. According to the news source, they say Gadhafi and several members of his entourage were killed as they attempted to flee rebel fighting. Gadhafi 's son, Mo'tassim, as well as other aids, were taken prisoner.
The U.S. government and other Western nations have shown support for the rebel cause, who were calling for an end to Gadhafi 's 40 year rain. The rebel fighting in Libya is one part of what is now being referred to as the "Arab spring," which saw similar people's protests and revolution in Egypt and Tunisia. Leaders in Syria and Yemen have also been targeted.