20/10/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


Reports from Libya suggest anti-Gaddafi forces have captured the last positions held by loyalists in the city of Sirte - a live report from Libya. Presented by Naga Munchetty.

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Libyan government forces claim that they've driven out Gaddafi


loyalists from Sirte - their last major stronghold. There've been


wild celebrations on the frontline but interim authorities remain


cautious and say that Sirte is Welcome to GMT. I'm Naga Munchetty.


Also in the programme: The Greek parliament prepares to pass the


latest raft of austerity measures as protests continue on day two of


a general strike. 100 Years On from an epic and


tragic adventure, we look back on the expedition of Captain Scott to


the Antarctic. It's midday here in London, 7:00am in Washington and


1:00pm in Libya where forces of the country's national transitional


council are claiming victory in Sirte, Colonel Gaddafi's home town


and the scene of a last stand by his supporters. We have also heard


that Colonel Gadaffi, rumoured, has been captured in the town of Sirte.


There are also rumours that he has been injured, his legs have been


injured. And national transitional council officials have mentioned


two various news agencies that he had been captured. We are trying to


confirm this with correspondence on the ground. Let's go to our


correspondent in Tripoli where there are wild celebrations being


heard. That is right, the news has reached Tripoli, and you can hear


some of the noises around May, people tooting their car horns and


we have had quite a bit of celebratory gunfire even though


there has been a religious edict to ban that. People should not fire


guns in celebration because people have been wooed in and killed in


that kind of firing. -- wounded and killed. The news is filtering


through here. We are waiting to see evidence of this, but if it has


happened and Sirte has fallen and Colonel Gadaffi has been captured


today it will be an extraordinary victory for the new authorities,


even capturing Sirte would be a hugely significant milestone.


Colonel Gaddafi's home town, his birthplace, but village he turned


into his second capital. N T C officials think he was hiding


somewhere in the desert and believed he might still be in Libya.


He said many times he would fight to the end and not lead his country.


And if the announcements are true, and there is a bit of celebratory


gunfire there, then a hugely important day for the newly beer.


People are already celebrating. -- for the new Libya. You have spent a


lot of time in Libya and the celebrations do seem rather wild


and very prominent. We have heard rumours, 10 a penny throughout the


conflict, but have you ever seen celebrations that makes this seem


more like rumour and speculation and is close to being confirmed?


I'm afraid it was hard to hear you but you are asking about the scale


of the celebrations. There was a lot of gunfire last week and there


were rumours that Colonel Gaddafi's son, his national security adviser,


had been captured, but the capture of Muammar Gaddafi himself, the man


who ruled this country for 42 years and the overthrow of his


dictatorship which caused so much blood to flow in Libya would be


hugely significant. Whether they have not yet seen the evidence for


it is true, the Libyans here are celebrating already. Caroline,


thank you very much. I know you will be chasing the story up. We


have our World Affairs Correspondent here with us. Mark,


this is an interesting scene. As I mentioned, rumours are 10 a penny.


It is easy to get carried away, but it seems there is evidence with the


National Transitional Council saying this is the case.


correspondent is trying to confirm it as we speak, but we already have


to news agencies independently reporting quoting different


officials that Gaddafi has been captured and they are both saying


that he has been wounded. One saying badly wounded, another


saying he has been wounded in both legs. Both of the news agencies are


telling the same story and quoting the council officials. But there


have been false alarms in the past then we will have to wait a few


more minutes to get confirmation and possibly even pictures.


might cloud will clarify the picture, but one National


Transitional Council said the head of the armed forces has been killed


during the capture of the Libyan leader. He was never going to be an


easy capture, and he did foul to stand until the last. If this has


happened to a Mac -- in Sirte there has been prolonged fighting there


and it would explain if he was there and had been captured it


would explain why the fighting was so fierce and why these guys have


held out so long. On the other hand they may have held out so long


because they feared for their own lives as well. We are in the realms


of speculation. But with the speculation, let's assume that it


is fact. If he has been captured one of our report is is at the


hospital where it is understood Gaddafi has been taken and I bring


this news 2 as we get it, but the troops there are saying that he has


been taken to Misrata and they also claim to have possession of some of


his things, including his Golden Gun. The future of Gaddafi, they


hope, I suppose that he gets a fair trial. Is this likely from the


National Transitional Council with the world watching? There has been


talk of a trial, the let's concentrate on what is happening


now for the time being. If it is the case he was taken to hospital


then somewhere else, that would be logical because they would really


want to ensure his physical security, not only because they


want to capture him but perhaps because they do not want others to


attack him or be accused of killing him without a trial. And I'm sure


that is what is taking place. Reuters now reporting that the


Russian President Medvedev are saying that the Libyan people


should decide the fate of Gadaffi. There has been talk that they


should be trial in the Hague and indictments for a trial at the


International Criminal Court, but the wide and handsome -- National


Transitional Council have been going about having a nationalist


agenda and perhaps have a trial in their own country maybe they want


to do that. But that will just prolong the instability, and


certainly the dangers are there if you hold a trial in the country


because it is sometimes easier to have the trial at the Hague. All of


this is still speculation. Just to bring you more information we are


hearing from a National Transitional Council Television


that Colonel Gadaffi was captured with his son. Not surprising that


some family members would be with him. Yes, some of his children have


escaped to neighbouring countries. It was rumoured that one of his


sons was with him. It would make sense if there was a final redoubt


that they would be together and perhaps they have now been captured.


Does this now draw a line, if he has been captured, under Gaddafi's


presence in Libya, and how much of a difference will we see in the


country as it moves forward? It was crucial from their point of view


that they should capture him. Not only was he giving statements to


television and radio stations, some of them based in Syria which were


broadcast back in thereby making it clear that he did not control the


whole situation, there was that aspect and also the fact that


Colonel Gaddafi has many supporters in Libya. He ruled for 40 years and


distributed a lot of oil money with largesse and did generate a lot of


enthusiasm amongst some people. So that also has to be dealt with.


Let's recap what we have been hearing, but his muse is flooding


in. I will leave it with you, but we have heard that Colonel Gaddafi


has been captured. There are two independent news agencies, the


French news agency, and Reuters, both quoting officials of the


National Transitional Council as saying that Colonel Gaddafi has


been captured. We have not been able to confirm this from BBC


sources, but our correspondence on the job, obviously. Both of these


agencies are saying that Colonel Gaddafi has been injured, one that


he has been injured badly in both legs. Mark, thank you very much.


You will be keeping across this as the news develops. Libyan


television is broadcasting that Colonel Gadaffi has been captured.


We can bring you this with translation as it is being


In the name of God, and we thank God Almighty, guard who has made


the rebels victorious, the Libyan people victorious, and today


without any doubt he is in the hands of the rebels. Colonel


Gaddafi is in the hands of the rebels. This is an exclusive report


we are bringing you. These brave rebels that have achieved victory,


they have made the liberation of Tripoli, and the 20th is the


liberation of Sirte. We have captured Gaddafi. Libya is joyous.


Libya is celebrating. Libya is giving a lesson to all of those who


want to learn. I salute you, rebels. I salute the revolutionaries who


have captured this criminal, this criminal who has killed the mothers


of the martyrs. This is your day. You have sacrificed your youth,


your son's for the liberty of Libya. All of our mothers will be joyful


and happy. I cannot find the necessary words to express what I


feel. This is not a news item, this is a happening we are in --


reporting. For 40 years the country has been bleeding and has been


depressed and suffering, and nobody was trying to heal our wombs except


the rebels who took to the streets on 17th February, and today they


have achieved the victory, I repeat, victory. They have captured this


criminal who had destroyed this country. And despite all of the


distraction, he actually pillaged the country. We saw on 17th


February how heat destroyed and pillage, and today, ladies and


gentlemen, we will try to convey to you the happiness of our people.


That was a recording as the statement was given on Libyan


television. It was an emotional broadcast, not surprisingly. That


takes us a step further. We are now seen for ourselves the officials


going publicly on Libyan TV saying they have captured Colonel Gaddafi


and that Sirte has been, in their words, liberated, describing


Colonel Gaddafi as a criminal who has pillaged the country. But many


people in Libya will not quite believe this until they see a


picture of Colonel Gadaffi himself for some clear evidence. They are


already celebrating on the streets of Tripoli. We could see that from


a colleague in Tripoli and there will horns going off, as you would


expect. These are live pictures, and at the celebrations still going


on all around. Absolutely. Many Libyans will still be waiting to


see that picture of Colonel Gaddafi and if the television crustacean is


correct, and it seems inconceivable they would go on air saying


anything -- the national television station. He would be very bad for


the credibility of the National to transitional council, and now they


are waiting for pictures. We can speak in Tripoli to the Libyan


national transitional council spokesman. Obviously, the news is


coming through in the last hour or so. Can you tell me what you have


heard and what she can confirm? what you can confirm? We are not


sure it has been liberated, and it is a great day for the people


waiting for this liberation and people are celebrating not only the


liberation of Sirte, but also about some reports that the big fish has


been captured in Sirte and moved it to Misrata. We are waiting for


confirmation from the National Transitional Council in Benghazi.


Before that, we cannot confirm that Muammar Gaddafi or any other of the


big fish have been arrested and moved to Misrata. Some local and


radio news is saying that, but we need confirmation, and that will


come from the National Transitional Council in Benghazi. Let's break


the story down a little bit. Do you know of the events that led to this


speculated capture? Where it could have happened and who actually


The audio is very bad, could you repeat the question? Can you give


detail of who captured Colonel Gaddafi and in what nature he was


taken? The news that Gaddafi was captured when he was trying to flee


from Sirte and motorcade and move immediately to Misrata. This is


that I cannot confirm, but it is very big speculation everywhere in


Tripoli about that. We talk to some people in Misrata and in Sirte and


we have almost one story identical. But as we know, the real news is


transferring through the proper channels to the NTC in Benghazi,


who are meeting now, and they will come up with a statement of


clarification to what happened exactly. The celebration in Tripoli


started and we like to caution people to be careful, not to use


their guns properly and to celebrate in a civilised way. Are


asking everybody to wait for the official statement from Mustafa


Abdul Jalil, either to confirm or deny the news. This is the proper


way to do. I agree that you are being cautious about the news flow,


but I understand that Libyan television is now reporting that


Colonel Gaddafi has been killed and his body is being take ton Misrata.


Have you heard anything of that? heard such a news, and I said there


are various scenarios about that. I am repeating again, we would like


to learn from our past lessons. We did some mistakes, jumped to


conclusions early in the past. We don't like to do it this time.


understand it is noisy where you are, I appreciate you persevering


with us. Can you give any information on the nature of the


injuries Colonel Gaddafi may have sustained? I don't have this


information. There is some speculation also about the killing


of the head of the military in Libya. I cannot confirm that. There


is many news coming from the Sirte generals, the sudden collapse of


the town centre as was a little bit surprising. It was a furious


resistance in the last few days. Suddenly our people were able to


assert themselves and control in a few hours We'd like to see this


force of the revelation. We have to wait for the confirmation. Have you


spoken to any international leaders? We have heard from various


international leaders commenting on the speculation, have you informed


any of the NATO involved countries? It was some reports in the morning


that NATO are hitting some targets in Sirte and around Sirte and that


strikes might result in something, we cannot confirm it. I think you


have the spokesman of the NATO and he can confirm if they were helping


any way. Can you tell me if Colonel Gaddafi is still alive, there is


speculation, I repeat, that he has been killed, if he is alive, what


would be your plan ou next? -- next? The next is the official


statement from the NTC of his capture. I'm sure some question


will be answered and that occasion. One of them that we are agree on,


in the past, and we will confirm it again, that we are giving not


Colonel Gaddafi, but everybody will get a fair trial, that Gaddafi


never gave to our people. We are going to give him a fair trial.


We'd like very much to trial Gaddafi and his associates inside


the Libya, by the Libyan justice system. We're going to do that.


Would he be tried in Libya? Would that be a safe option? Repeat the


question, please? Would he be tried in Libya? Would you be concerned


about security? I think we're going to give him fair trial. It will be


under the observation of the organisation. We are not going to


try him in closed doors. We will try him in public. We are going to


guarantee him all the necessity, all the guarantees, the law


guarantees that are given to any, to anybody. We'd like very much to


try him in Libya and the Libyan people will see -- say the final


word of his fate. Who are you waiting for? Who is giving you the


information to confirm that Colonel Gaddafi has been captured? I got it


from several sources. As I said, many times, that I cannot confirm


any of these reports, but it's strong speculation from different


various agencies, NTC people are talking to each other now. They are


talking to the revolutionary forces. They are talking to the military


and civil leadership in Misrata to verify the reports and to make sure


that everything will be under control. In a few hours, we're


going to have an official statement that will explain everything and


confirm or deny speculation. You do expect to give a statement in a


matter of hours? Yes. I'm expecting that in a few hours, it will be a


statement. Can you also tell me, when it comes to the position of


Sirte, have you had confirmation that Gaddafi loyalists have been


completely driven out of the town? No, I cannot confirm any of this.


OK. Speaking on behalf of the National Transitional Council,


thank you very much for bringing us up to date. We appreciate your


persevering through all the noise where you are. Thank you very much


for giving us the latest. Thank you.


Well obviously, the NTC is still being very, very cautious about


confirming or denying that Colonel Gaddafi has been captured or, in


fact, with the latest rumours, that he has actually died and his body


being transported to Misrata. Mark, you were listening in there,


understandable caution. Absolutely. It's very interesting that the


official spokesman of the NTC would be so cautious and careful. They've


had their fingers burnt before. This is the big one, of course.


This is the one on which their credibility has been in doubt over


the last few months, because they haven't been able to capture


Colonel Gaddafi and, of course, once they have got him and indeed,


some reports saying that he's been killed, though we can't confirm


either of those for the time being, this is the big one. They want


their credibility to be in tact. They're being very careful. That's


the official spokesman for the NTC. We brought up the question of a


trial, if he were alive. He was also quite resolute, it seemed,


that it would happen in Libya and security -- Libya and security


would not be a problem. Yes, other countries, for example, Liberia,


the former leader there, they decide today would be too dangerous


to have the trial in the local area. They spent him for trial in The


Hague. There, the security could be guaranteed. The politics of the


country wouldn't have been churned up, as it's bound to be as


revelations take place in a trial, if one takes place. Yes, the


official spokesman for the NTC was very clear. He said if he's alive,


he'll be tried in Libya. He'll be given all the rights that should be


accorded to such a trial. He'll get a fair trial. But it will be in


Libya. He was absolutely clear about that. That's interesting.


Also we spoke about how actually, let me bring this news, there's


been reported on Reuters, Libya's Colonel Gaddafi dies of wounds


suffered in capture near Sirte. This is a senior National


Transitional Council military official that has spoken to Reuters,


to be clear. We were just speaking to a spokesman who couldn't confirm


he had either been captured or wound. We did hear reports that he


had been wounded in both legs. We did also hear reports that one of


his sons and one of his leaders had been captured, one of his leaders


had been killed. If this is true, Mark, if we can believe these


reports, that Gaddafi has died of these wound, it's drawn a line


under the conflict so far and marks a new beginning for the NTC and the


future of Libya. If Gaddafi has died, it certainly marks the


beginning of a new phase. That's for certain. Because it means that


the NTC now have effective control of the whole country. Thank you


very much. Let me just recap what has happened in the last hour. We


have had news that Colonel Gaddafi, the former leader of Libya, has


been captured. There are latest rumours he has died of wounds


sustained in that capture near Sirte. He was reportedly had wounds


in his legs. The report now is that he has died on the way to Misrata.


Of course, we will bring you the very latest, stay with us on BBC


Welcome to BBC News. The now continuing coverage of the


situation in Libya. What you are seeing now is a live shock of the


city of Sirte. NTC commanders saying that the city has fallen


after a two manufacture month siege. Troops are manning roadblocks


outside the city. They say there has been an attempt at mass break


out by pro-Gaddafi forces. Even more significantly, in the past


half hour or so, many reports from Libya that we cannot confirm for


you, that Colonel Gaddafi has been captured in Sirte or near Sirte. We


can tell you that Libyan state television is reporting this, that


a local commander of the anti- Gaddafi forces says the Colonel was


shot in both legs, but just to tell you, other reports saying he is


being treated in hospital, before being taken to the western city of


Misrata. As Naga was mentioning, Reuters also reporting one NTC


commander saying that Colonel Gaddafi may possibly have died. We


cannot confirm these reports for you. Differing reports coming out


from Libya, but state television definitely reporting that Colonel


Gaddafi has been captured. This is at noupbsment: -- announcement:


TRANSLATION: We thank God almighty. We thank God who has made these


rebels victorious, made the Libyan people victorious. Today, without


any introduction, Gaddafi is in the hands of the rebels. The Gaddafi


personally is in the hand of the rebels. This is an exclusive report


we're bringing you. These brave rebels that have achieved victory.


These rebels have made today the 20th, 20th, that's was, the


liberation of Tripoli and, 20th was the liberation of Tripoli today is


the liberation of Sirte as well. We have captured Gaddafi. Libya is


joyous. Libya is celebrating. Libya is giving a lesson to all those who


want to learn. I salute you rebels. I salute you the revolutionaries,


whom you have captured this criminal, this criminal who have


killed the mothers of the martyrs. Mothers of martyrs, this is your


day. You have sacrificed your youth, your sons for the liberty of Libya.


Our mothers, all our mothers will be joyful, will be happy. I cannot


find the necessary words to express what I feel. This is not a news


item. This is happiness that we are reporting. This is what we feel for


40 years, the country has been bleeding, it's been oppressed. It's


been suffering and nobody was trying to heal our wounds, except


As reports come in from Libya suggesting anti-Gaddafi forces have captured the last positions held by loyalists in the city of Sirte - we report live from Libya on whether this is the decisive moment in the conflict. And we have the latest from the biggest ever general strike in Greece over the government's austerity measures to prevent a broader eurozone crisis.

Presented by Naga Munchetty.

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