NPR : News

Filed Under:

Gadhafi's Funeral Delayed; Questions Persist On Final Moments

The funeral for former Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi was to have taken place Friday, in keeping with Islamic tradition that bodies be buried as soon as possible. But a host of concerns have caused the body to be placed in temporary storage instead — and an inquiry may be launched into how he died.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Several news agencies have confirmed that a U.S. Predator drone aided the attack on a large convoy as it attempted to leave Sirte Thursday — and that Gadhafi was in the convoy. The air attack, by at least one drone and several French jets, was reported by The Daily Telegraph Thursday. More details of the drone's role in the attack are on Wire's site.

Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: The AP reports that Gadhafi's body is being stored in the town of Misrata, in a shopping center's commercial freezer. The freezer was reportedly cleared out before the corpse was put there, in an attempt to keep it away from prying eyes.

But it's evidently not a well-kept secret. An AP reporter visited, and viewed the body:

 

 

Outside the shopping center, hundreds of civilians from Misrata jostled to get inside for a peek at the body, shouting "God is great" and "We want to see the dog."

 

 

Our original post continues:

The dictator was found and killed in his hometown of Sirte Thursday, after eight months of unrest and violence in Libya.

Here are some of the open questions concerning Libya:

After videos surfaced that prove the deposed leader was alive when he was found by fighters loyal to the new government, the U.N. Human Rights Council is calling for an investigation.

One of those videos was published on the Global Post site. The jerky (and graphic) cellphone video shows a wounded Gadhafi, surrounded by a frenzied crowd of men. That video, when seen in the context of one from moments later that shows Gadhafi's corpse, is "very disturbing," says a U.N. representative.

"There's a lot of uncertainty about what happened exactly. There seem to be four or five different versions of how he died," U.N. spokesman Rupert Colville tells Reuters TV.

There is even confusion over the former leader's last words. According to The Telegraph and other sources, Gadhafi's final words were "Don't shoot." That's reportedly what he said when he was first discovered in a drainage pipe. But according to MSNBC, another translation has the dictator asking, just before losing consciousness, "Do you know right from wrong?"

Libya's National Transitional Council also faces a dilemma: how to bury Gadhafi in a way that doesn't offend Islamic law — but also doesn't provide Gadhafi loyalists with a rallying point or pilgrimage site. There is evidently disagreement within the new government over how best to handle the situation.

Similar questions surrounded the death of Osama bin Laden, whose body was buried at sea, according to reports.

Late Thursday, NATO confirmed that it would be winding down its mission in Libya.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

 

NPR

Peruvians Love Their Chicha Street Art. The Government ... Not So Much

Walk down a street in Peru and you'll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren't impressed.
NPR

Tea-Infused Sweets: Chocolate + Jasmine Tea Is A Match Made In Heaven

Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
WAMU 88.5

America's First Ladies

They walk a tricky line: closest adviser to the President of the United States and hostess in chief. A new book examines the evolution of the role of first lady of the United States.

WAMU 88.5

E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Last week, the D.C. Council voted to designate e-cigarettes and "similar vapor products containing nicotine" as tobacco products. That means that their sales tax will jump from the regular 5.75% sales tax to the 70% tax that's tacked onto sales of products like cigarettes and cigars. We explore what this means for the evolving public health debate surrounding e-cigarettes.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.