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Timeline: Moammar Gadhafi's final moments

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
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Gadhafi's final moments
Gadhafi's final moments
Gadhafi's final moments
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Gadhafi is found in a large drainage pipe, a Libyan envoy says
  • Libya's interim prime minister says that Gadhafi didn't resist capture
  • He was caught in a crossfire while on a vehicle, destined for Misrata
  • DNA tests were used to confirm the dead man was indeed Gadhafi

(CNN) -- Moammar Gadhafi had been on the run for months, as opposition fighters aided by NATO airstrikes pushed him and his supporters from the Libyan capital of Tripoli and other long-time strongholds.

Finally, on Thursday, the long-time Libyan leader's life ended around where it began -- in Sirte, the coastal city where he was born.

Here is a timeline of some key moments leading up to Gadhafi's death, according to Libya's interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, other National Transitional Council officials and other sources:

-- Having taken over the city of Bani Walid earlier in the week, fighters aligned with Libya's National Transitional Council turn their attention on Sirte -- the last holdout of Gadhafi loyalists.

-- French fighter jets and a Predator drone, firing a Hellfire missile, strike a convoy near Sirte on Thursday morning, a U.S. Defense official says. That official is unable to say if Gadhafi was in the targeted envoy. But a senior NATO official says that Gadhafi was part of that convoy and survived the attack.

-- Around noon on Thursday, transitional council officials announce that their fighters have taken control of Sirte, despite pockets of resistance. There is no official word then about Gadhafi.

-- During the day Thursday, Gadhafi is captured alive and in good health in Sirte, according to the interim prime minster.

-- According to Ali Aujali, Libya's ambassador to the United States, troops find Gadhafi during the day in a large drainage pipe in Sirte. Daily Telegraph reporter Ben Farmer in Sirte later tells CNN's Anderson Cooper the pipe is about 3 feet wide and filled with trash and sand.

-- Gadhafi is alive and in good health when he's captured, according to the interim prime minster.

-- He does not resist arrest.

-- At the time, he is wearing an undershirt and trousers and carrying a gun.

-- While being transferred to a vehicle -- destined for Misrata, Jibril says later -- Gadhafi is shot in the right arm.

-- Grainy video broadcast on Arabic satellite networks shows a bloodied but still-alive Gadhafi being hauled onto a truck.

-- Eventually, National Transitional Council forces put Gadhafi into the vehicle. As soon as it takes off, a firefight erupts involving council forces and those loyal to Gadhafi.

-- Caught in the crossfire, Gadhafi is shot in the head.

-- He dies a few moments before arriving at a hospital, a coroner says, according to Jibril. Another video shows a dead Gadhafi with what appears to be a head wound.

-- At the hospital, DNA samples are taken -- including blood and saliva -- that confirm that the dead man is indeed Moammar Gadhafi.

-- Council representatives get in touch with the International Criminal Court, which had charged Gadhafi with war crimes. After sending the coroner's report and photos, the court gives Libyan authorities permission to bury Gadhafi.

-- Soon after the news breaks on Thursday afternoon, crowds throughout Libya erupt in celebration of Gadhafi's death.

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