Western leaders welcomed the death of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi as the end of despotism, tyranny, dictatorship and ultimately war in the north African country.
"It is an historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Gaddafi has met his fate," said a spokesman
for the National Transitional Council (NTC), Libya's new rulers, in announcing the news.
As Libyans on the streets of Tripoli and Sirte fired automatic weapons into the air and danced for joy, world leaders began to weigh in on the death of the man who had ruled the oil-rich north African nation for more than 40 years.
In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said after the death of his onetime ally: "Now the war is over."
"Sic transit gloria mundi (Thus passes the glory of the world)," Berlusconi said about the ousted ruler of Italy's former colony, quoting a Latin tag.
In Brussels, the European Union said that Gaddafi's death "marks the end of an era of despotism."
The news means an end also to the "repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long," EU president Herman Van Rompuy Van Rompuy said in a joint statement with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek will visit Libya from Saturday.
"I am happy I will be visiting a country fully liberated from a dictator who has imposed his iron fist for more than 40 years. Now Libya can truly turn the page," he said.
In Washington, senior US Senator John McCain said the death marked the end of the first phase of the Libyan revolution.