Senior US senator John McCain said on Thursday that the death of Muammar Gaddafi marked the end of "the first phase" of Libya's revolution and called for closer ties between Washington and Tripoli.
"The death of Muammar Gaddafi marks an end to the first phase of the Libyan revolution. While some final fighting continues, the Libyan people have liberated their country," the Republican lawmaker said in a statement.
His comments came shortly after a spokesman for the National Transitional Council rebels in Libya said Kadhafi had been killed by new regime forces in their final assault on the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte.
"Now the Libyan people can focus all of their immense talents on strengthening their national unity, rebuilding their country and economy, proceeding with their democratic transition, and safeguarding the dignity and human rights of all Libyans," said McCain.
"The United States, along with our European allies and Arab partners, must now deepen our support for the Libyan people, as they work to make the next phase of their democratic revolution as successful as the fight to free their country," he said.
Democratic Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the US Congress, said in his official Twitter feed that "Libyans are safer now" after Kadhafi's death and the "Arab world is breaking free."
But "never celebrate death of anyone, even bad people," he said.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who recently traveled with McCain to Libya, said Kadhafi's death marks "a new opportunity for freedom, prosperity and a voice in the global community for Libyans."
"The administration, especially (US) Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton, deserve our congratulations," he said in a statement.