Gaddafi confirmed dead by Libya's leaders

Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is dead, Libya's new leaders said, killed by fighters who overran his hometown and final bastion on Thursday.

Confirmation of Gaddafi's death came after hours of uncertainty and speculation over whether he was alive and injured or had been killed.

The news was affirmed with photographs and videos of Gaddafi, captured on mobile phones that have been quickly shared globally.

One of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, Mo'tassim, has been killed by fighters from Libya's NTC while another, Saif al-Islam, is trying to flee the fallen city of Sirte but is being surrounded, a senior NTC military official has also confirmed.

After prime minister Mahmoud Jibril confirmed his demise, the new national flag, resurrected by rebels who forced Gaddafi from his capital Tripoli in August, filled streets and squares as jubilant crowds whooped for joy and fired in the air.

In Sirte, a one-time fishing village and Gaddafi's hometown that grandiose schemes had styled a new "capital of Africa", fighters danced, brandishing a golden pistol they said they had taken from Gaddafi.

Accounts were hazy of his final hours, which also appeared to have cost the lives of senior aides.

But top officials of the National Transitional Council, including Abdel Majid Mlegta, said he had died of wounds sustained in clashes.