TODAY IN HISTORY: Libyan Dictator, Gaddafi Appeared On TV To End Rumour That He Was Dead

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On April 16, 1986, Muammar Gaddafi appeared on TV to dispel the rumor that he was dead. His appearance on TV further left many confused, even as it heightened the seemingly mysterious nature surrounding Gaddafi’s personality.

His appearance on TV was after airstrikes on Tripoli which many believed might have killed him but that was not the case. Gaddafi’s support of terrorist activities was what led to US airstrikes on Tripoli in 1986 and sanctions after he refused to give up suspects in the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103, which was filled with US service people over Scotland.

Legacy of a dictator: Gaddafi's long shadow over Libya

Meanwhile, Gaddafi, an authoritarian leader of Libya for 42 years, began as a revolutionary hero before establishing a regime where his supporters and family dominated Libyan politics and society until they, along with him, were overthrown in 2011 during the Arab Spring.

King Idris of Libya (with walking stick) is flanked by officials as he arrives the opening ceremony of the new Libyan Oil Terminal at Marsa Al Hariga, February 14th 1967.

King Idris with a walking stick flanked by Libyan officials

Gaddafi came to power through the army and a bloodless coup that deposed King Muhammed Idris as-Senussi in 1969. In addition to protecting Libya from foreign powers, he prioritized securing Libya’s revenue from its oil resources. But, through his doctrine outlined in the “Green Book,” Gaddafi established ever-increasing control over the country, backed up by harsh security measures.

Gaddafi’s pariah status eased in later years. However, in 2011, a rebellion began in the wake of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Gaddafi’s actual death remains mysterious, as he was captured and killed in October 2011 after fleeing his final stronghold of Sirte amid conflicting reports of how he actually died. Gaddafi was 69 years old when he died, but he was a leader and later dictator whom Libyans and the world cannot forget easily…..S££ MOR£

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