Austin
7:05 am
Thu October 20, 2011

Gadhafi Fate Unclear Amid Reports Of Capture, Death

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Update at 9:15 a.m. ET. Al Arabiya Says It Will Photograph Gadhafi's Body:

The al-Arabiya news network says it has "been granted permission to photograph Muammar Gaddafi's body." Note: There are still conflicting reports about Gadhafi's fate. Obviously, photos taken by journalists would help end any uncertainty. 

Update at 8:05 a.m. ET. More Reports Of His Capture, Possible Death:

Reuters is now saying that Gadhafi "died of wounds suffered in his capture near his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, a senior NTC military official said. National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters earlier that Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked. 'He was also hit in his head,' the official said. 'There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.' "

Meanwhile: "AFP news agency quoted another NTC official, Mohamed Leith, as saying that Col Gaddafi had been captured in Sirte and was 'seriously wounded' but still breathing," the BBC reports. "A soldier who says he captured Muammar Gaddafi told the BBC the colonel had shouted: 'Don't shoot!' " 

Earlier:

Libyan fighters say they have taken over Sirte, the hometown of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi.

And there are unconfirmed reports that he has been captured. Reuters writes that Gadhafi:

"Has been captured and wounded in both legs, National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid said on Thursday."

Libyan TV is also reporting that news, al-Jazeera says.

NPR and other news outlets are working to independently confirm the news about Gadhafi. The State Department says it cannot confirm the report of his capture.

Even if Gadhafi hasn't been captured, the fall of Sirte marks a key moment in the months-long war in Libya. Though the Gadhafi regime was effectively toppled over the summer, the former dictator and his supporters had reportedly been making a last stand in Sirte. Now, it would appear the end has come.

NPR News will be updating its blog as this story develops.