Arab TV station Al Jazeera said today that Muammar Gaddafi has died after having been injured and captured while trying to flee Sirte.  It said the former Libyan leader died in a gun battle.

There was no official confirmation,  but pictures taken on cellphones appeared to confirm the reports.

Earlier,  a National Transitional Council commander said the former leader had been injured and captured. 

"He has been captured. He is badly wounded, but he is still breathing," Mohamed Leith told AFP, adding that he had seen Gaddafi himself and that he was wearing a khaki uniform and a turban.

Libyan TV channel "Libya lil Ahrar" also said that he was in custody.

Three of his children were reportedly also captured.

In Sirte, medics said the defence minister in Gaddafi's ousted regime, Abu Bakr Yunis, had been killed in the final battle for the strongman's hometown.

His body was identified at the field hospital where it was brought in a pick-up truck, Dr Abdu Rauf told AFP. 

Muammar Gaddafi was reportedly in a convoy which was attacked by Nato and NTC forces.

Montassim Gaddafi, Muammar's son, was reportedly also in the convoy.

Sirte, Gaddafi's birthplace, was his last bastion of support. Wild celebrations broke out there as well as in Tripoli and Benghazi as it fell to the NTC forces.

There was no independent confirmation of today's reports.  The US State Department said it could not confirm that Gaddafi had been captured or killed.

A pro-Gaddafi television website denied that Gaddafi  had been killed or captured, AFP said.

"The reports peddled by the lackeys of NATO about the capture or death of the brother leader, Muammar Gaddafi is baseless," said Al-Libiya television.

There were various reports over the past few weeks about Gaddafi's sons having been captured, but they turned out to be false.

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