" On Aug. 28, 2011, Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi and two of his sons fled the capital city of Tripoli, which after months of bitter fighting was finally succumbing to rebel advances. One of his sons, Khamis, was killed within a day, possibly by a NATO airstrike. Another, Saif al-Islam, made it to the town of Bani Walid, but in November fell into rebel hands. Moammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for more than four decades, set out east for Sirte, his hometown. He had less than two months to live.
Gaddafi’s final days are detailed in a new report from Human Rights Watch, which painstakingly reconstructs his movements — and those of the citizen militia that captured and executed him — over his final weeks. At many points, the story rests on the account of loyalist fighters who were with him and sometimes on the recollection of a single associate whose information is difficult or impossible to verify, but it is so far the most complete account we have of the final days of the “mad dog of the Middle East.” (... )