The man who had purportedly discovered former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi hiding in a drainage pipe nearly a year ago has died after being kidnapped, beaten and slashed by supporters of the late dictator.
Omran Shaaban, who is the latest victim of the persistent violence and instability in the North African country, had been hospitalised in France.
Shaaban's family said that he and three friends had been on their way home to the western city of Misrata, from a vacation in July, when they were attacked by gunmen in an area called el-Shimekh near Bani Walid.
According to media reports, two bullets hit Shaaban, and he was paralysed from the waist down. The men were captured by militiamen from Bani Walid, a town of about 100,000 people that remains a stronghold of Gaddafi loyalists and is isolated from the rest of Libya.
New Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, who visited Bani Walid earlier this month, secured the release of Shaaban and two of his companions. A fourth is still being held. Shaaban was later flown to France for medical treatment, the report said.
Following his death, several hundred protesters had gathered outside the headquarters of the National Congress in the capital of Tripoli, demanding that the government avenge Shaaban's death, while social media websites were flooded with photos, showing a wooden coffin with a glass window of Shaaban.