Former Libyan leader Muammar Al Qathafi was buried at a secret desert location at dawn on Tuesday, National Transitional Council officials have said thus ending a wrangle over what was going to happen to his rotting corpse that had been on display cold storage in Misurata for four days after his capture and killing on Thursday in his hometown of Sirte.
According to military spokesperson Ibrahim Beitalma, Al Qathafi's son Muatassim has been buried in the same ceremony at around 5.00 a.m. (local) in the presence of sheikhs and a few relatives members from his tribe. Islamic prayers were read over the body.
Two trusted interim government loyalists were handed Al Qathafi's and his son Muatassim's bodies to be buried secretly deep in the Sahara desert after a cleric, Khaled Tantoush, who was arrested with him, prayed over his decomposing corpse, before they were removed from the Misurata compound
NTC official Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters that only two trusted people were assigned to this secret mission. “These are not guards, but very trusted NTC people," Mlegta said.
The last Muslim rites were also attended by two of Al Qathafi's cousins, Mansour Dhao Ibrahim, once leader of the fPeople's Guard, and Ahmed Ibrahim, who were both captured with Al Qathafi after their convoy was attacked in a NATO air strike near Al Qathafi's hometown of Sirte after it had fallen.
Mlegta said that the NTC officials were handed the body after the sheikh completed the early morning ceremony and took them somewhere very far away into the desert, far away from the media.
The former regime's defence minister Abu Bakr Younis Jaber is also reported to have been buried at the same spot.
Several days ago an NTC official was reported telling Reuters that there would be only four witnesses to the burial, and all would swear on the Qur'an never to reveal the location.
On Monday the interim government officials bowed to international pressure and announced a commission to determine how Al Qathafi died after he was cornered in a drain while trying to flee his hometown of Sirte.
Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman and other officials from the NTC had said that Al Qathafi was killed in crossfire. Mr Jalil said: "In response to international calls, we have started to put in place a commission tasked with investigating the circumstances of Muammar Al Qathafi's death in the clash with his circle as he was being captured."