Libyans Bulldoze Gadhafi Compound
October 16, 2011
In an action as full of symbolism as anything else, workers wielding bulldozers knocked down the walls surrounding the Tripoli compound of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Opposition leaders said the compound, called Bab al-Aziziya and surrounded by high green walls manned by armed guards, would be made into a public park.
Much of the compound is rubble, actually, since it was a main target of NATO airstrikes for several months. Already, Gadhafi's former house has been turned into a weekly pet market.
Fighting continued elsewhere in the country, as the last areas of Gadhafi supporters struggled to hold on against a growing opposition force, now a force supported by the internationally recognized National Transitional Council. Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte remained a flashpoint, with fierce fighting punctuating the streets. Other cities having conflicts still including Bani Walid and Misrata, a western city seized early on by rebel forces and a sustained target of siege and attack by Gadhafi forces.
Military leaders in charge of what is now the governmental armed forces issued decrees prohibiting their soldiers from looting, after reports surfaced of such activity in newly occupied territory, including the Sirte airport. Some resources had authorization to be transferred to the Sirte airport, which has been badly damaged in the fighting.
Gadhafi's whereabouts continue to be unknown, although many observers think that he is hiding in Sirte, a coastal city 250 miles southeast of Tripoli. His rule as leader came to an end on August 23, after nearly 42 years in power.