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Young Man Who Helped Capture Gadhafi Dies After Reportedly Being Tortured

Friends and relatives of Omran Ben Shabaan carried his coffin Tuesday after it arrived as the airport in Misrata, Libya.
AFP/Getty Images
Friends and relatives of Omran Ben Shabaan carried his coffin Tuesday after it arrived as the airport in Misrata, Libya.

A year ago, Omran Ben Shaaban was among the young men who helped capture Moammar Gadhafi as the former Libyan leader tried to hide in a drainage ditch.

This week, the 22-year-old Shaaban died of injuries he allegedly received after he was "kidnapped, beaten and slashed by the slain leader's supporters," al-Jazeera reports. The news network adds that "the death of Shaaban, who had been hospitalized in France" after he was released by his captors, "raises the prospect of even more violence and score-settling."

Indeed, the BBC says that in Misrata, Libya, "protesters called for the government to avenge his death." According to the BBC, Shaaban "was freed last week following the mediation efforts of Mohamed Magarief, Libya's interim leader and president of the ruling General National Congress (GNC). Mr. Shaaban arrived in Misrata with torture marks on his body and a bullet wound near his spinal cord, according to reports. He was taken to Paris for treatment, but died on Monday."

As NBC News adds, "Libya is battling lingering pockets of support for the old regime, and its government has been unable to rein in armed militias in a country rife with weapons." NPR's Leila Fadel reported Monday on how there's a move to "take back the nation from dozens of militias born from the revolt against strongman Moammar Gadhafi."

As we reported at the time, videos showed that after his capture Gadhafi was beaten. And the local coroner ruled that he died of a gunshot wound to the head.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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