Gaddafi’s Bloodied Body on Display at a Misrata Meat Store
Gaddafi’s body was put on the hood of a car and driven around the town of Misurata yesterday.
Libyans take photos of Gaddafi’s body in Misrata, where a guard let small groups in to a meat store to view the dead dictator. (Abaca/PA Images)
Bloodied, wearing just a pair of khaki trousers, and dumped on a cheap mattress, Muammar Gaddafi’s body has become a gruesome tourist attraction and a macabre symbol of the new Libya’s problems.
Hundreds of ordinary Libyans queued up outside a refrigerated meat store in Misrata, where the dead dictator was being stored as a trophy. A guard allowed small groups into the room to celebrate next to Gaddafi’s body. They posed for photos, flashing victory signs, and burst into jubilant cries of “God is great.”
Wounds on Gaddafi’s body appeared to confirm that he was indeed killed in cold blood in the chaotic minutes following his capture on Thursday. He was found in the town of Sirte, hiding in a drainage pipe. There was a close-range bullet wound on the left side of his head. Blood stains showed another bullet wound to his thorax. His body, subsequently driven to Misrata and publicly paraded, was barefoot and stripped to the waist.
This display came amid a row inside the Transitional National Council (NTC) over what to do with Gaddafi’s body. Libya’s interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, arrived in Misrata to talk with local NTC representatives. They have made it abundantly clear they do not want Gaddafi to be buried in their town. The NTC leadership in Tripoli wants a solution quickly. One popular option is to bury him at sea, as Osama bin Laden was.
The dispute threatens to overshadow NTC plans to declare a formal end to Libya’s nine-month uprising . The council will announce from Benghazi, where the Libyan revolution began in February, that the project of national liberation is now complete. It will say a new, democratic post-Gaddafi era has begun.
This will not end well.