The world considers Moammar Gadhafi's end

By Mike Stewart

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 20 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

The wreckage of burnt vehicles from a convoy of pro-Gadhafi fighters trying flee the town of Sirte, Lybia, lie on the edge of town Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after the regime fell. Amid the fighting, a NATO airstrike blasted a fleeing convoy that fighters said was carrying Gadhafi.

David Sperry, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed today as his hometown fell to the one-time rebels who ousted him, ending the last vestiges of control for the man once hailed as the "king of kings of Africa."

Here's a running account of the day's developments. The times, which indicate when each update was filed, are local in Libya unless otherwise noted. Libyan time is two hours ahead of GMT and six hours ahead of EDT.

11:31 p.m.

Through the day, startling images continued to emerge from in and around Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, where the former strongman made his last stand.

Beyond those of Gadhafi in captivity and being harried by revolutionary fighters, and those of his bloodied corpse, other pictures showed the wreckage of burnt vehicles from a convoy of pro-Gadhafi fighters who had been trying to flee. They got only as far as the edge of town. In another, a man displayed a worn, golden revolver he said belonged to the fallen dictator - an artifact from a bygone time.

11:01 p.m.

Moammar Gadhafi's death removes a threat to the stability of global oil markets.

Though it will be months before Libya can export as much oil as it did before it descended into civil war, the former dictator's demise reduces the chance that violence will get in the way as Libya cranks up production again.

As Libyan crude returns, it could lower the price of oil on the international markets and gasoline at American pumps.

Still, getting back to regular oil production could prove difficult for Libya. Its government is still in its infancy and infighting could spark a second uprising similar to the insurgency in Iraq.

"Certainly, having Gadhafi no longer on the scene takes away one source of instability. We just think the bigger problem might be the 'game of thrones' between various factions within the rebel ranks," says Barclays Capital analyst Helima Croft.

10:29 p.m.

Gadhafi was wanted dead or alive — and opinion is mixed on which was preferable.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said his country had wanted Gadhafi "captured alive so that he could be brought to justice."

But some suggested that Gadhafi's death worked to greater effect. Shashank Joshi, of London's Royal United Services Institute, said that "a trial would have been an opportunity for him to grandstand. So in some ways, his death is more cathartic."

10:15 p.m.

Outside the Libyan Embassy in London, demonstrators chanted and wept with joy.

"I was crying, I was shouting, I was smiling," said Najwa Creui, a 40-year-old teacher who has lived in Britain for the past 16 years. "It's the day Libyans have been waiting for as long as I have been alive."

9:37 p.m.

During an afternoon Rose Garden address, President Obama spoke directly to Libya's revolutionary rulers and to its people in urging a smooth transition to fair, free elections.

"You have won your revolution," Obama said. "One of the world's longest-serving dictators is no more.

"The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted. And with this enormous promise, the Libyan people now have a great responsibility."

9:27 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden says he sees useful lessons in how the U.S. and NATO prosecuted the Libyan mission.

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