Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Netanyahu says Gaza operation will not end quickly

Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • EU broadens sanctions on Russia over Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

Middle east

Libyan rebel who captured Gaddafi dies in Paris

Text by Charlotte BOITIAUX

Latest update : 2012-09-26

Omran Shaaban, one of the Libyan rebels credited with capturing Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, has died from gunshot wounds in a Paris hospital. Questions abound about the circumstances surrounding Shaaban’s death.

He rose to fame as the man who discovered Muammar Gaddafi hiding in a drain pipe near the Libyan city of Sirte in October 2011. But less than a year later, Omran Shaaban was dead in a Paris hospital. Shaaban had succumbed to injuries sustained allegedly at the hands of Gaddafi loyalists after being kidnapped.

The 22-year-old aspiring electrician was given a hero’s funeral in his hometown of Misrata late Tuesday. But in death, the Libyan hero has exposed the deep divides that still threaten his country.

Shaaban was only 21 when he accomplished what so many other Libyan rebels dreamed of doing at the time: capturing the Libyan dictator who had been on the run since rebel forces seized the capital of Tripoli in August 2011.

Shortly after Gaddafi was captured, Shaaban appeared in several videos touting the Libyan dictator’s personal revolver. He was widely believed to be among the rebels who tortured and mortally injured Gaddafi.

The young Libyan died on Tuesday in a Paris hospital as a result of gunshot wounds, said a spokesman for the French foreign ministry.

“Omran Shaaban came to France in early September on what we call a humanitarian visa to receive emergency medical treatment,” the spokesman said, declining to comment on the decision to choose France as a destination. “He did not survive his injuries and died Monday night.”

Shot and detained

Shaaban’s death has raised the prospect of even more violence and score-settling in Libya, a country awash with arms that has lingering pockets of support for the old regime.

According to Shaaban’s family, the young man was kidnapped in July near Bani Walid, a western Libyan town that remains a Gaddafi stronghold.

While attempting to escape his captors, Shaaban was shot in the neck and stomach, but survived. His family says Shabaan was held and tortured for 50 days before a personal intervention by Mohammed Magarief, the president of Libya’s National Assembly, secured his release earlier this month.

Shaaban was then flown to France for emergency medical treatment. On Tuesday night, his body was flown to Misrata, where more than 10,000 people joined a procession to a soccer stadium for the funeral.

Are Libya's leaders finally standing up to the militias?

Libyan authorities have so far offered no information about who kidnapped one of the heroes of the Libyan uprising. However, lawmakers have ordered the defence and interior ministries to track down those who abducted Shaaban, calling him a "brave hero".

Nearly a year after Gaddafi’s capture, the security situation in Libya remains tenuous despite government efforts to unify often rival militias into a national security force. The issue came to the forefront earlier this month after residents in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi stormed the strongholds of Islamist militias demanding their demobilisation. The operation was sparked by the September 11 killing of US Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Tensions between Misrata, a city that saw some of the worst fighting during the 2011 uprising, and the rival town of Bani Walid have also escalated in recent months.

In an interview with the AFP, Shaaban’s brother, Walid, demanded justice for his brother’s death. "We will take revenge militarily - but legitimately," said Walid, who commands a militia brigade. "We will give the authorities an opportunity to tackle the issue but if they fail to act, we know how to make our move."

Date created : 2012-09-26

  • LIBYA

    ‘For Gaddafi, rape was a weapon’

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Libyan army replaces Benghazi militia chiefs

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Libya to ‘dissolve’ non-sanctioned militias

    Read more

COMMENT(S)