SIRTE, Libya (AP) -- Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's dictator for 42 years until he was ousted in an uprising-turned-civil war, was killed Thursday as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.
Interim government officials said one of Gadhafi's sons, his former national security adviser Muatassim, was also killed in Sirte and another, one-time heir apparent Seif al-Islam, was wounded and captured.
The 69-year-old Gadhafi is the first leader to be killed in the Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings that swept the Middle East, demanding the end of autocratic rulers and the establishment of greater democracy.
"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Moammar Gadhafi has been killed," Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference in the capital Tripoli.
His death decisively ends a regime that had turned Libya into an international pariah and ran the oil-rich nation by the whim and brutality of its notoriously eccentric leader. Libya stands on the cusp of a new era, but its turmoil may not be over. The former rebels who now rule are disorganized and face rebuilding a country virtually without institutions by Gadhafi's design. They have already shown signs of infighting, with divisions between geographical areas and Islamist and more secular ideologies.
Libya's new leaders had said they would declare the country's "liberation" after the fall of Sirte.
President Obama said Gadhafi's death "marks the end of a long and painful chapter" for Libya. Vice President Joe Biden said the Libyan people had rid themselves of a dictator and have now "got a chance" with Gadhafi gone.
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