Libya leaders to declare end of war, liberation

TRIPOLI, Libya -- With dictator Moammar Gadhafi dead, Libya's new rulers were to declare liberation Sunday, formally ending an eight-month-old civil war and ushering in a two-year transition to democracy fraught with uncertainty.

Indecision over what to do with Gadhafi's remains overshadowed what was to be a joyful day.

The 69-year-old was captured alive Thursday, then taunted, beaten and killed in unclear circumstances in his hometown of Sirte. His body has been on public display in a commercial freezer in a shopping center in the port city of Misrata.

Libyans seemed relieved the country's ruler of 42 years was killed, with many saying his death cleared the way for a new beginning.

"If he (Gadhafi) was taken to court, this would create more chaos, and would encourage his supporters," said Salah Zlitni, 31, who owns a pizza parlor in downtown Tripoli. "Now it's over."

Libya's interim leaders are to formally declare later Sunday that the country has been liberated. The ceremony is to take place in the eastern city of Benghazi, the revolution's birthplace.

The long-awaited declaration starts the clock on Libya's transition to democracy. The transitional leadership has said it would declare a new interim government within a month of liberation and elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months, to be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections within a year. (AP)

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