Gaddafi body stashed in shopping center freezer

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Muammar Gaddafi
Misrata (Libya), Oct 22: Muammar Gaddafi's blood-streaked body was stashed in a commercial freezer at a shopping center as Libyans tried to keep it out of the public eye and away from crowds as they figure out where and when to bury the hated leader.

An AP correspondent saw the body at the shopping center in the coastal city of Misrata, home of the fighters who killed the ousted leader a day earlier in his hometown of Sirte.

The body, stripped to the waist and wearing beige trousers, was laid on a bloodied mattress on the floor of an emptied-out room-sized freezer where restaurants and stores in the center normally keep perishables.

A bullet hole was visible on the left side of his head, with the bullet still lodged in his head, according to the presiding doctor, and in the center of his chest and stomach.

His hair was matted and dried blood streaks his arms and head.

Outside the shopping center, hundreds of civilians from Misrata jostled to get inside for a peek at the body, shouting "God is great" and "We want to see the dog." The makeshift provisions for the corpse, at one point it was kept in a private house yesterday, reflected the disorganisation and confusion that has surrounded Gaddafi''s death.

His burial had been planned for today, in accordance with Islamic traditions calling for quick interment. But the interim government delayed it, saying the circumstances of his death still had to be determined. Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam also said authorities are "debating right now what the best place is to bury him."

AP

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