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On liberation day, Libyans flock to see Qaddafi – for proof, closure

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The NTC is reportedly preparing to bury Qaddafi in an undisclosed location to keep his grave from becoming a shrine to the dead leader’s supporters.

At least one person in Misrata has been waiting for a call from the NTC.

Sheikh Hesham Mohamed Embrika runs a cemetery on the beach just outside Misrata where the pro-Qadaffi dead are buried. Mr. Embrika considers it his religious duty to give even the enemy a proper Islamic burial.

“As soon as we heard that Qaddafi had been killed, we prepared a grave for him. We are ready to bury him here, but I think they will have to provide security. Feelings against Qaddafi run high in Misrata,” said Embrika.

Driving along devastated Tripoli Street, the former line, it is not hard to understand why.

Omar Kawa, a 23-year old former rebel, points to the long list of names of martyrs painted on a whitewashed wall. More than 1,000 people were killed during the six-months siege of Misrata – enough to name every street in the city after a martyr.

“Every family in Misrata has been affected by this,” says Mr. Kawa. “That means a dead boy, a destroyed house, a wrecked car in every family here.”

Kawa was at a farm outside Misrata, which his brigade uses as hangout, when Qaddafi’s body was brought in there on Thursday.

“The ambulance driver was one of us,” Kawa said as he kicked some dust over the spot where Qaddafi lay during the half hour he spent here. “He didn’t know where to take the body and he was afraid of getting mobbed.”

“We discussed the situation and then one of us thought of the freezer at the shopping mall," he said. "It was far enough outside the city to keep the body safe from the people.”

The news that an autopsy revealed that Qaddafi was shot in the head after his capture doesn’t trouble many people here.

'Good riddance'

“It’s good riddance,” says Kawa. “Even at the very end, during the battle over Sirte, he made sure that many people died needlessly.”

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