Attempt to escape Sirte
After the fall of Tripoli in August, Sirte remained one of the final pockets of loyalist resistance, in particular District 2 in the north-west of the city.
In the early hours of Thursday Colonel Gaddafi, accompanied by key loyalists, decided to attempt a breakout from District 2 in a convoy of vehicles.
At about 0830 local time French aircraft operating as part of the Nato mission attacked the convoy of 75 vehicles heading out of Sirte at high speed approximately 3-4 km (two miles) west of the city near the western roundabout.
Among those in the convoy were Col Gaddafi's son Mutassim and head of the army Abu Bakr Younis Jabr. Both men were later reported dead at the scene and Mutassim's body shown on Libyan TV.
According to Nato, a first strike destroyed one vehicle and caused the convoy to disperse into several groups.
One of those groups, carrying Col Gaddafi, headed south and was hit again by a Nato fighter, destroying 11 vehicles.
My master is here ... Muammar Gaddafi is here and he is wounded”
Unnamed Gaddafi bodyguard
Col Gaddafi and a handful of his men managed to escape on foot and sought refuge in two large drainage pipes filled with rubbish. Rebel forces then closed in.
Fighter Salem Bakeer told Reuters: "At first we fired at them with anti-aircraft guns, but it was no use.
"Then we went in on foot. One of Gaddafi's men came out waving his rifle in the air... as soon as he saw my face he started shooting at me. I think Gaddafi must have told them to stop. 'My master is here, my master is here', he said, 'Muammar Gaddafi is here and he is wounded'".
Col Gaddafi was captured at around noon.
Amateur video of Col Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was shot dead
The al-Jazeera news channel broadcast footage showing the dazed and wounded Col Gaddafi gesticulating while being man-handled by rebel fighters.
Salem Bakeer told Reuters: "We went in and brought Gaddafi out. He was saying 'What's wrong? What's wrong? What's going on?' Then we took him and put him in the car." One fighter showed reporters a golden pistol he said he had taken from Col Gaddafi.
Gabriel Gatehouse first saw the man brandishing Gaddafi's golden gun in October 2011
Still images from an analysis of amateur video footage taken in the moments after Col Gaddafi's capture appear to show him being sodomised with a pole or knife.
What is certain is that at 1630 local time, Mahmoud Jibril, the NTC prime minister, confirmed the news that Col Gaddafi was dead, saying: "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed."
He later told journalists that a "forensic report" had concluded that the colonel had died from bullet wounds when the car he was in was caught in crossfire. "The forensic doctor could not tell if it came from the revolutionaries or from Gaddafi's forces," he said.
But a man claiming to be an eyewitness told the BBC that he saw Col Gaddafi being shot with a 9mm gun in the abdomen at around 1230 local time and initial video footage seemed to show his body being dragged through the streets of Misrata.
Col Muammar Gaddafi was shot in the abdomen, according to a man who says he was there
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has said there should be a full investigation.
Her spokesman Rupert Colville told the BBC: "There are two videos out there, one showing him alive and one showing him dead and there are four or five different versions of what happened in between those two cellphone videos. That obviously raises very, very major concerns."
The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse visited the drain where Col Gaddafi was reportedly found by NTC forces
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