The end of Gaddafi's era, and what's next for Libya's government

The death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi - and the capture of Sirte - clear the way for the appointment of a new interim government to steer the country towards new elections.

Gaddafi's final hours

Moammar Gaddafi was captured and killed by revolutionaries on Thursday. Click through to see how the events unfolded:

Moammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya since coming to power in a 1969 military coup, vanished after rebels seized Tripoli in late August. In recent weeks, revolutionaries closed in on the last pro-Gaddafi holdouts in the coastal city of Sirte.

Early Thursday, Gaddafi and key loyalists attempted to leave Sirte in a truck convoy. A U.S. drone and French fighter jets fired on the convoy. Gaddafi and some of his loyalists escaped and hid in nearby drainage pipes.

Rebels fire on loyalist postitions in Sirte Wednesday. AP Photo/Manu Brando

Libya’s interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, told The Washington Post that Gaddafi was discovered hiding in “a big pipe of the sewage system,” shown below. Gaddafi, wearing pants and a long-underwear shirt, had a pistol but did not resist arrest, Jibril said.

As Gaddafi was being walked out of the drainage pipe, a firefight broke out between revolutionaries and Gaddafi's security detail, according to Jibril. Gaddafi was shot in his right arm. "They came under intense crossfire,” and Gaddafi was struck in the head, Jibril said. “I cannot confirm whether he was shot by our people or his security brigade. It was crossfire,” the prime minister said. Gaddafi died within yards of reaching a hospital.

What's ahead: The beginnings of a new government

The Transitional National Council formed shortly after the Libyan revolt. Fault lines have become increasingly apparent in recent weeks between secular and Islamist factions.

Key figures from the revolution

Mahmoud Jibril
Prime minister

A U.S.-educated political science professor, Jibril is a divisive figure. He has been criticized working for the Gaddafi regime before the revolution.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil

Jalil has enjoyed wide support. He was justice minister under Gaddafi but is seen by Libyans as trustworthy.

Ali Tarhouni
Finance and oil minister

Tarhouni, a former economics lecturer at the University of Washington in Seattle, left Libya in the 1970s and returned after the rebellion began.

Abdul Hakim Belhaj
Tripoli military commander

Belhaj was one of the founders of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which the State Department has designated as a terrorist organization.

Ali al-Salabi
Islamist scholar

In September, al-Salabi, one of Libya's most prominent Islamist scholars, called for Jibril to resign.

Transition to a new system

Once Libya is officially liberated, the Transitional National Council is charged with selecting a prime minister.

The interim prime minister will appoint an interim cabinet.

The cabinet will have eight months to prepare for the election of a national assembly, which will be Libya's first legitimately elected body.

The assembly will appoint a committee to draw up a constitution and move the country toward further elections.

The impact of war

Most of Libya's wealth is from oil exports. The country was pumping 1.6 million barrels a day before the revolt. Production gradually ramped up as fighting died down, but a return to prewar output will be slow.

SOURCE: Staff reports, BBC, IHS CERA. GRAPHIC: Laura Stanton, Gene Thorp, Sisi Wei and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published October 20, 2011.

Libyan prime minister confirms Gaddafi killed as Sirte is overrun

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi was killed Thursday when revolutionary fighters overran his last loyalist stronghold, setting off raucous celebrations of victory in an eight-month war backed by NATO.