Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya with a dictatorial grip for 42 years until he was ousted by his own people in an uprising that turned into a bloody civil war, has been killed.
Revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.
The 69-year-old Gaddafi is the first leader to be killed in the Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings that swept the Middle East, demanding the end of autocratic rulers and the establishment of greater democracy.
"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told a news conference in the capital Tripoli.
His death decisively ends a regime that had turned Libya into an international pariah and ran the oil-rich nation by the whims and brutality of its notoriously eccentric leader.
This is good news in terms of the chances of democracy finally being established in Libya. We suspect though that it will be a tortuous path.