WARNING: Graphic image below
It was reported early Thursday morning that deposed Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi had been captured by rebel forces in his hometown of Sirte, according to the country's interim rulers.
Several news agencies have been reporting that Gaddafi died of wounds inflicted during a fight with rebels, who have been battling Gaddafi's forces for about eight months.
The U.S. State Department had not yet confirmed reports of Gaddafi's death, however leaders with Libya's transitional government are confirming his death.
"He (Gaddafi) was also hit in his head," National Transitional Council (NTC) official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters. "There was a lot of firing against his group and he died."
Mlegta told Reuters previously that Gaddafi, who was believed to be around 69 years old, was captured and wounded in both legs around dawn on Thursday as he tried to escape in a convoy under attack by NATO warplanes. Mlegta told the news agency that Gaddafi had been taken away by an ambulance.
Jamal abu-Shaalah, a field commander of the NTC, also told Al Jazeera in earlier reports that the deposed leader had been captured, but it was not known whether he was dead or alive.
A photograph taken on a cell phone and reportedly obtained by Agence France-Presse appeared to show a bloodied Gaddafi, but the authenticity of the image has not yet been determined.
Gaddafi's toppling is the latest in a dramatic string of Arab Spring revolts that have shaken government foundations of countries such as Egypt, Tunsia and now Libya. It is certain that these latest developments were being closely monitored by leaders in Syria and Yemen, who have been working to quell uprisings in the past months.