THE death of toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a step towards a “strong and democratic future” for the north African country.
Gaddafi died as rebel troops overran the final pockets of fighters loyal to the former regime in his home-town of Sirte.
His death was announced by the prime minister of the country’s National Transitional Council government Mahmoud Jibril, who told a press conference in capital Tripoli: “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”
Speaking in Downing Street moments after Mr Jibril officially confirmed the dictator’s death, Mr Cameron said he was “proud” of the role Britain played in Nato airstrikes to protect Libyan civilians after the uprising against Gaddafi’s rule began in February.
And he said it was a time to remember Gaddafi’s victims, including those who died when Pan-Am flight 103 was bombed over Lockerbie, Wpc Yvonne Fletcher who was gunned down in a London street and all those killed by the IRA using Semtex explosives supplied by Libya.
Mr Cameron also said the “many, many people” who had died at the hands of “this brutal dictator and his regime” should be remembered and he paid tribute to the bravery of the Libyan people who helped to liberate their country.
He added: “We should also remember the many, many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.
“People in Libya today have an even greater chance after this news of building themselves a strong and democratic future. I am proud of the role that Britain has played in helping them to bring that about and I pay tribute to the bravery of the Libyans who helped to liberate their country.
“We will help them, we will work with them and that is what I want to say today.”