Moammar Gadhafi

Fugitive Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was killed Thursday when rebels took over his hometown, and cable news networks aired a photo of his bloodied body.

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time," Mahmoud Jibril, Libya's prime minister, said in the capital Tripoli, confirming the death.

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Gadhafi, the most wanted man in the world since the killing of Osama bin Laden, reigned over his country for 42 years.

President Barack Obama appeared on television several hours to address the death, saying the Libyan people now can choose their own future, although "there will be difficult days ahead."

"This is a momentous day in the history of Libya," Mr. Obama said in remarks in the White House Rose Garden. "The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted and with this enormous promise, the Libyan people now have a great responsibility to build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Gadhafi's dictatorship."

[Meantime, NBC announced Thursday that Obama will appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno next Tuesday — his fourth appearance on the show.]

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Unconfirmed reports of the death first broke about 7:30 a.m. EDT, and news networks turned their focus to it, showing the graphic picture, while broadcast networks stuck with scheduled shows. On MSNBC's Morning Joe, for instance, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi urged parents who might be watching with their children to send them out of the room before showing the photo.

Al Jazeera aired video, as did Reuters, of what appeared to be Gadhafi, dead and bloodied in the street, amid a jubilant crowd people.

Libya's Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam told The Associated Press that Gadhafi was in a convoy when he was attacked by rebels.