After 42 years of absolute power in Libya, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi spent his last days hovering between defiance and delusion, surviving on rice and pasta his guards scrounged from the emptied civilian houses he moved between every few days, a senior security official captured with him has said.
Under siege by the former rebels for weeks, Colonel Qaddafi grew impatient with life on the run in the city of Surt, said the official, Mansour Dhao Ibrahim, the leader of the feared People's Guard, a network of loyalists, volunteers and informants. "He would say: 'Why is there no electricity? Why is there no water?' " The New York Times reports.
Dhao, who stayed close to Gaddafi throughout the siege, said that he and other aides repeatedly counseled the colonel to leave power or the country, but that the colonel and one of his sons, Muatassim, would not even consider the option.
Earlier, Gaddafi's widow, Safia, had urged the United Nations to investigate how her husband was killed at the hands of the rebels in the former dictator's home city of Sirte.
She also insisted that she was very proud of the courage shown by her husband and children.