The end for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi when it came, after 42 years of dictatorial power, was ignominious and violent. After months of bloody fighting, the Libyan revolutionary forces had driven their former leader from Tripoli before capturing him in a drainpipe in the city of Sirte. The gory images captured on the mobile phones of the victors were reproduced on newspaper front pages around the world, marking the end of a cruel regime. In the capital, ordinary Libyans explored the once forbidden compound that housed Gaddafi and his family.
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