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NTC to probe Gaddafi death, as no NATO forces to stay around Libya

(Xinhua)

08:35, October 25, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chairman of Libya' s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdel Jalil vowed on Monday to soon establish a committee to investigate the death of ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi, and to form an interim government in two weeks.

Speaking at a press conference held in Benghazi, Jalil said that in response to international calls the NTC has started to form a committee to look into the circumstances of Gaddafi's death after he was captured in Sirte last week.

Jalil said that "those who helped Muammar Gaddafi" have played an effective role in killing him. But the NTC chief did not elaborate on his claim.

As Jalil stated the NTC's intention of probing into the circumstances of Gaddafi's death, the corpse of the former Libyan leader, who had ruled the country for over four decades, is still being on display in the western Libyan city of Misrata.

People who have driven from across the country were queuing outside the market before being allowed to witness the end of Gaddafi on late Monday. In a huge freezer in the al-Tunsy market in western Misrata, Gaddafi's corpse is laid with those of his son Mutassim and his defense minister Abu Bakr Younis on each of his side.

Gaddafi's corpse, now covered by a piece of white sheet where stains of blood are visible, have started to rot and blacken. While his feet are bundled up, there are noticeable stitches on the left chest of his body. The security guards at the scene failed to told Xinhua reporters how they are generated, but some said a burial may be held "tomorrow (Tuesday)."

Meanwhile, in the yard of the al-Tunsy market, some young Libyans stood on the top of a green-colored SUV believed to be the last vehicle that Gaddafi was using ahead of his capture and death. Many kicked the car after taking photos with it.

At Monday's press conference, Jalil also told reporters that a new interim Libyan government is expected to be formed within about two weeks, as talks have already started.

Jalil, formerly a justice minister in the Gaddafi regime, stressed the nation's "moderate" version of Islam, saying that "I want to assure the international community that we as Libyans are moderate Muslims."

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya with an iron grip, was captured alive with his son Mutassim Thursday when NTC forces wrested full control of his hometown of Sirte. But both of them died in murky circumstances shortly after being seized by the NTC fighters.

Gaddafi's tribe and family have demanded the corpses be handed over to them for a quick burial in Sirte under Islamic traditions. The request was turned down by the NTC, which remains divided on the rite, time and location for Gaddafi's burial.

On Friday, the United Nations human rights body called for an investigation into how Gaddafi was killed, after satellite TV channels broadcast a footage of Gaddafi being captured wounded but alive with blood stains on the face and then pushed by fighters onto a truck, and another video later emerged showing Gaddafi's body on the lap of a fighter with a bullet hole in his forehead.

Gaddafi's mysterious death has already dented the NTC's credibility. Mishan al-Jbouri, owner of a pro-Gaddafi television channel based in Syria, said that after the whole world saw the ugly way Gaddafi was killed, no country would risk handing the rest of the family to the NTC.

Meanwhile on Monday, NATO spokeswomen Oana Lungescu said that the military alliance has no intention of leaving forces around Libya following the end of the seven-month mission.

Her remarks came after NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said last Friday that NATO's Libya mission is to end on Oct. 31.

The NATO-led Western coalition has assisted the Libyan NTC fighters in their fight against the Gaddafi forces with air operations destroying much of Gaddafi's military facilities across the country since March this year.

"A very complex operation, such as the Unified Protector... can 't be turned on or off like a switch. This takes some time. But there is no intention of keeping armed forces in the neighborhood of Libya after the end of the operation," Lungescu told a press briefing in Brussels.

At the press briefing, Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, who commands NATO's Libya mission, said that it is up to the NTC forces to deal with possible pockets of resistance by the remaining Gaddafi loyalists.

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