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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
/AP/Press Association Images People stand in line to see the body of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi outside a refrigeration room where his body is being kept in the suburbs of Misrata.

Autopsy reveals Gaddafi died by gunshot to head

Meanwhile, it is being reported that the former dictator’s body will be handed back to his extended family following a deal with Libya’s interim government.

Updated 1.47pm

AN AUTOPSY HAS confirmed that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died from a gunshot to the head.

Libya’s chief pathologist revealed the autopsy result today but few questions about the circumstances of his death have been answered.

Dr Othman al-Zintani would not disclose any further details on Gaddafi’s final moments. A full report will be issued to the country’s attorney-general, he said.

The Guardian reports that a doctor involved in the postmortem said the cause of death was “obvious”.

He also said that “everything” about Gaddafi’s death will be revealed publicly.

Calls for a full investigation into the strongman’s death have been heard from human rights groups and international governments as footage of an injured-but-alive Gaddafi have surfaced, showing him being taunted and beaten by captors, has emerged.

The images have raised questions about whether the dictator was killed in crossfire, as was initially suggested, or deliberately executed.

Libya’s prime minister Mahmoud Jibril has said that it is unclear if the bullet was fired by pro-Gaddafi loyalists or the National Transitional Council’s forces, reports Reuters.

Body on display

The postmortem was carried out at a morgue in Misrata. Officials in Libya have said that Gaddafi’s body will be returned to his relatives.

Sky News has reported that a deal has been reached with Gaddafi’s extended family and a handover will happen shortly. A spokesman for the National Transitional Council said it would be in the interests of the family and the whole country to bury Gaddafi in a secret location.

In the meantime, the body of the 69-year-old will be put back on public display in a commercial freezer at a market in Misrata, reports Reuters.

Islamic law has not been followed in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s death. According to the religion’s rules, the body should have been buried within 24 hours. Mo’Tassim, Gaddafi’s son who was also killed on Thursday, is yet to be buried and remains with his father’s body in the shopping centre in Misrata.

Despite initial rumours of capture and death, Gaddafi’s other son Saif al-Islam has not been accounted for.

Libya’s leaders are expected to declare the liberation of the country in Benghazi later today.

-Additional reporting by AP

Read: Gaddafi’s body being kept in shopping centre freezer

More: $200bn Gaddafi may have been the world’s richest man>

See all of’s coverage of events in Libya>

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