Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi is dead, according to a spokesman for the National Transitional Council.

Qaddafi died of wounds suffered during his capture near his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, Reuters and Sky News reported. U.S. officials say they are working to confirm the NTC's claim.

 

 

"Qaddafi is dead. He is absolutely dead ... he was shot in both legs and in the head. The body will be arriving in Misrata soon," media spokesman Abdullah Berrassali told Sky News.

Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam said he has confirmed that Qaddafi was dead from fighters who said they saw the body. He said he expects the prime minister to confirm the death soon, noting that past reports emerged "before making 100 percent confirmation."

"Our people in Sirte saw the body ... Mustafa Abdul-Jalil will confirm it soon," he told The Associated Press. "Revolutionaries say Qaddafi was in a convoy and that they attacked the convoy."

Col. Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO's operational headquarters in Naples, Italy, said the alliance's aircraft Thursday morning struck two vehicles of pro-Qaddafi forces "which were part of a larger group maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte."

"These armed vehicles were conducting military operations and presented a clear threat to civilians," Lavoie said in a statement.

Sirte -- Qaddafi's hometown and the last bastion of his supporters -- was the last holdout against TNC forces. The town's capture, which both military officials and new regime political sources said was expected later Thursday, would pave the way for the NTC to officially take control of Libya and move its headquarters away from its Benghazi stronghold in the east to the capital, Tripoli.

Libyan fighters captured Sirte Thursday, two months after the fall of Tripoli.

An Associated Press Release