"We have all waited for this moment," said Mr. Abdel-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), in front of the mass of flag-waving revelers. "This revolution began peacefully with the demand for justice, but it was met by excessive violence."
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.”