The body of Libya’s ex-dictator Muammar Gaddafi will be buried tomorrow, after being left on public display for the past four days in Misrata.
Spokesman for the Misrata military council Ibrahim Beit al-Mal told the Associated Press that he is “90 percent sure the bodies will be buried tomorrow.”
Beit al-Mal went on to contend that rebels do not want shrines built in honor of Gaddafi. Similarly, when CIA officials and Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden in May, his body was dropped in the North Arabian Sea to avoid any monuments or shrines being built for his body.
The bodies of Gaddafi’s son, Muatassim and former defense chief Abu Bakr Younis now accompany Gaddafi’s in a commercial freezer in Misrata, about 246 kilometers from where Gaddafi was captured in his hometown of Sirte.
Libya’s government ended the public viewing of the bodies after four days, in which thousands of Libyans flocked to the freezer to snap photos – posing with the dead leader.
Although the National Transitional Council announced they would respect Muslim burial rights, which would see them bury Gaddafi’s body within 24 hours of his death, Gaddafi’s burial has been stalled due to a pending investigation implemented by the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights.
“More details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in some form of fighting or was executed after his capture,” said UNHCR spokesman Rupert Colville said in a statement.
The circumstances surrounding Gaddafi’s death are still being disputed among Libya’s rebel forces and the transitional government.
Officials are adamant that the tyrant was not executed but killed in crossfire with his own supporters. However, numerous reports have indicated that he was likely executed by a rebel mob that had formed around him when they had realized whom they had captured.
An informal execution without chance for trial would not shed a favorable light on Libya’s government, which is attempting to assert itself as a prominent force in western politics.
There is also dispute on where Gaddafi should be buried. Some contend that his tribe should bury him into his hometown of Sirte. Others argue Gaddafi should be buried in the Invader’s Cemetery, located in Misrata, in which many Libyan fighters have been buried.
According to a Senior NATO official, ex-dictator Muammar Gaddafi was wounded in an air strike that took place Thursday morning. In the airstrike, a French Mirage Jet and a U.S. predator drone fired weapons, including a Hellfire missile, into Gaddafi's convoy. Gaddafi's green getaway vehicle was damaged in the attack.
It has been claimed that Gaddafi escaped the air attack with injuries, fleeing by foot and taking refuge with his body guards in a nearby concrete sewer tunnel located in a drainage ditch, where he was found by the Misrata Military Council.
Gaddafi, who led Libya for 42 years, remained in hiding since rebel forces seized the capital of Tripoli and only emerged to call upon his loyalists to take back the country from “devils and traitors.”
Although he was ousted from power in late August, Gaddafi loyalists continued to resist the new Libyan government, prolonging an eight-month civil war and halting the country’s political progression.
The media is circulating footage of Libyans celebrating the death of Gaddafi. Transitional government leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil declared an official end to the eight-month civil war and Libya’s liberation on Sunday in Benghazi.
“This revolution was looked after by God to achieve victory,” he told the massive crowd of thousands, which gathered, to celebrate.