REPORTING FROM BEIRUT -- Unconfirmed reports Thursday say deposed Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi has been captured and killed in the fall of his hometown of Surt, Libya.
The information center for the military in the nearby city of Misurata issued a statement saying "the tyrant" had been arrested in Surt by fighters from Misurata who led an assault on Kadafi's hometown. Earlier Thursday, the coastal city was reported to have fallen to forces loyal to Libya's new government.
Reuters quoted Abdel Majid, an official of Libya's transitional government, as saying that Kadafi had been captured after being wounded in both legs. He was taken away by ambulance, the official said, according to Reuters.
Later reports indicated that Kadafi had died after his convoy was struck by NATO aircraft in the Surt area as the vehicles were attempting to flee the city. The command for the Misurata brigades, one of several groups of anti-Kadafi forces fighting in Surt, issued a statement saying Kadafi had died. But there was no official confirmation of his death from the provisional Libyan government in Tripoli.
U.S. officials in Washington said they could not immediately confirm reports of Kadafi's capture or death.
NATO also said it had no word on the fate of Kadafi, but it did confirm that its aircraft struck two pro-Kadafi "military vehicles" early Thursday.
-- Patrick J. McDonnell
Photo: Anti-Kadafi fighters celebrate in Surt on Thursday. Credit: Reuters